Museum of Natural History Can Resume All Work on Gilder Center, Court Rules

By Carol Tannenhauser

All work on the Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation can proceed, ruled the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, on Tuesday, February 5th, lifting the “temporary stay pending appeal” that has partially halted progress on the Gilder Center since December 19th.

The ruling came three days after a rally protesting the project was staged by Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park (CU), a neighborhood group that is appealing a December 10th court ruling in favor of the Museum.

The Museum sent WSR the following statement:

The Museum is extremely pleased that today’s decision to lift the stay will allow all work to proceed. We look forward to the appellate court’s decision and have every expectation that that the NYS Supreme Court’s clear decision on the merits, will be affirmed on appeal. The new Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation will significantly enhance the Museum’s scientific work, education programs, and visitor experience, and we are delighted to be moving forward.

Representatives of CU and their attorney, Michael Hiller, did not immediately return requests for comment.

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Bob Lamm says:

      No surprise that the temporary stay was lifted. This appeal is so unlikely to be successful.

    2. Rob G. says:

      YES!!! It’s nice to see that logic and progress can still prevail over kookiness from time to time.

    3. Bill Ditt says:


      HURRAH !!!!!!!

      HIP HIP HOORAY !!!!!

      Hey, NIMBYs, guess your rally really influenced the court, eh!

    4. Weird That Way says:

      Good. This will be a real asset and there will still be plenty of park space. Sometimes liberals are the opposite of progressive! Any change at all elicits faintings and pearl clutchings. Get a grip, people. This will be amazing.

    5. Mike says:

      Good, I’m glad the new wing is moving forward.

    6. Aaron Jacobs says:

      Well BJK, was that worth spending your good will on?

    7. soldier says:

      Great news. The frivolous harassment/sabotage of educational institution by a bunch of entitled squeaky wheels is over.

    8. Parker says:

      Fine. Now let’s get Rebekah Mercer off the board of trustees.

    9. Steen says:

      Thank goodness! This is a clear win for science education despite the NIMBY efforts of CU’s ilk.

    10. Sickened by man’s hubris says:

      What a shame to destroy actual nature to study it instead in the abstract. Thanks for all your efforts, Mr. Hiller.

    11. your_neighbor says:

      Thank goodness common sense prevailed.

    12. Sherman says:

      This is great news!

    13. The W. 80th St. Block Association - Billy Amato says:

      Kudos to AMNH with love from The West 80th St. Block Association. As always you have our full support –
      Billy Amato

      • RandomBlockAssociation says:

        Kudos? Who says that???

      • The West 80th St. Tree Fund says:

        Congrats from the UWS Unicorn Conservancy, as well as the 80th St. Fidget Spinner Society!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Actually Bill, I live on West 80th Street and you don’t speak for me. You are not, and never will be my spokesperson. I also know you don’t speak for quite a few people on the block who were appalled by the museum’s strong arm tactics. The museum could have done this renovation without taking down the old trees. They are choosing not to.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Billy, I live on West 80th, and you do not speak for me. I would never, ever want you to represent me.

        • Bobby says:

          Kudos, Elizabeth!! Kudos to you!! LOL

        • Frank says:

          Agreed x100!!!

        • West 80th Street Tree Fund/Rusty Horn says:

          Thank you Elizabeth for your continuous support and your enthusiasm and excitement for the brand new Science building extension at the American Museum of Natural History we all share your pleasure and excitement !
          Because you have been a wonderful member of our wonderful W. 80th St. Block Association we will give you “The Mr. Roberts – Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” two (2) ** stars next to your name at the next annual meeting for you to share with your good neighbors and neighborhood.

      • FedUp80 says:

        Billy, who elected you to anything? You are the chairperson of your own personal fan club, not of this “West 80th St.” Block group that you MADE UP, and then filled the website with personal details about yourself and your pets. Stop speaking for others. You have no authority and you represent nobody except your own self. Which is fine, everyone is entitled to have an opinion. But your opinion represents only one person. You.

    14. JS says:

      There are clearly differences in opinion about whether the museum expansion is positive or negative.
      But let’s be clear:
      Museum expansion is not a method to improve education – the way to strengthen student achievement and improve education is to fund schools and for parents to encourage and support their children.
      A significant part of the space is going to the entry-way and other vanity aspects rather than actual education/science.
      There will be more congestion- impacting pedestrians, buses etc. And more trash.

    15. BA says:

      Thankfully, Court’s ruling now allows the Museum to proceed with their important project! A note to the “environmental” CU group: Your fliers have ruined every lamp post and piece of street furniture in the district, removing the paint from some and marring others with tape that’s difficult to remove. If your values were pure, you’d make sure to clean these properly and promptly.

    16. Karen H. says:

      It’s refreshing to know that a science facility that will benefit many thousands of people each year is taking precedence over the ‘entitlement’ of a few dozen people who want to maintain ‘their’ park, which, is only a block from Central Park. There will still be park benches and trees in Theodore Roosevelt Park….and many more of them a mere block away.

      • Jan says:

        It’s an unnecessary bldg there is a Science Center
        at Columbia U 30 blocks N. This is a quote from
        Architect Jeanne Gang. An unnecessary bldg.
        Wait. You will see in time what a mistake has
        been made
        Say goodbye to the UWS as we have known it

    17. Robert Goodman says:

      Those decrying the loss of “nature” to the construction of a the Gilder Center probably think that gardens are natural phenomenon when they are in fact peoples’ creations. If TR Park were left to “nature” it would be much shabbier than it is. And there’d be no dog run.

    18. Ground Control says:

      What the museum has created in bad will portends poorly for it into the future. Increasingly NY, even its institutions show little regard for the tax paying citizens. This could have been done without commandeering this beautiful public park. Instead the museum shows bad faith with the community. There is no question Teddy Roosevelt Park will be overrun with the millions of tourists who take precedence here, some 65 million of them yearly. Be happy with your “science” school whose curriculum will be designed by climate science deniers and Trump’s hand maidens. As for me I’ve set foot inside for the last time.

      • UWS Dad says:

        Actually, the museum didn’t show “bad will”. As you can see by these notes and talking to the “community”…people wanted the expansion. I am thrilled about it and I know my kids will love it.

      • Jay says:

        The crazy hyperbole spun out by the “community united” folks is part of the reason everyone laughs at the excuses for opposing this project.

        Spend a couple of minutes and think of some better ones for the next time you want to NIMBY something.

      • Robert Goodman says:

        You have chosen to live in the wrong part of the wrong city if you don’t want tourists around you. My bet is you rightly love living here for many of the the same reasons people visit. I feel fortunate to have run away from the Bronx 60 years ago to settle here. Still, I do admit I love visiting and cluttering up other people’s home neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague, London, Istanbul….

    19. Little Nell says:

      I am a supporter of the park, but I hope I can be gracious in defeat and say “Floreat scientia!” along with Esther Clovis in Barbara Pym’s novel _Less Than Angels._ I will miss those beautiful trees, though! _The Cherry Orchard_ is also apposite here.

    20. Billy Amato says:

      Thank you everyone – We have received many emails of full support for the new extension at the AMNH. The West 80th Street Bock Association website is:

      • West 80th St. Tree Fund says:

        Wow. There is some disturbing stuff on that “website.” 9/11 conspiracy?? Really??

        Please post the dates of the next “meeting.”

    21. Jan says:

      What a tragedy and such an ugly bldg so
      Inappropriate for the space. Have you actually
      Looked at it? It’s going to be terrible tourist buses tons of tourists food carts etc etc. the area will be ruined
      We will miss the 250 yr old trees. How sad

    22. Bill says:

      That’s a shame. This neighborhood just keeps getting uglier. Sad.

    23. YIMBY says:

      YAY!!!!!!! Thank you, NYS Appellate Court! This was actually a no-brainer. Finally, this agonizing stupidity is over and the the AMNH can proceed with its worldclass educational center, and they can pack up the NIMBYsaurus caravan and put it on display in a diorama somewhere in the basement.

      • West 80th St. Block Association says:

        Kudos to you and thank you for your support !!!!!! Onward and upward…

    24. West 80th Street Tree Fund/Rusty Horn says:

      This is great news we are so excited with the new extension opening in 2022 at the American Museum of Natural History of the new science building. Please remember to donate to the tree fun on W. 80th St. this year.