Museum of Natural History embraces Planet of the Apes architectural nightmare

When I was a kid, I would go to the Museum of Natural History in New York City all the time.  They had beautiful, artistic dioramas that featured not only animals from around the world, but giant, wrap-around landscape paintings of faraway places that were simply amazing.  And of course there were the giant dinosaur skeletons.

The museum itself is a collection of old, interconnected buildings.  Well, the museum got $325 million dollars together, and they plan to take down three of their buildings and replace them with an architectural monstrosity.  They plan to pour tons of concrete to make it look like a set from the original Planet of the Apes movie.

The outside will look like a spaceship, totally incongruous with the buildings around it.

The idea behind this is to give more room to show the museum's many exhibits.  But by constructing  a space with big, soaring ceilings, the museum is trading away several floors' worth of space that could show more exhibits.  I think most museum goers would give up a fancy Planet of  the Apes lobby with high ceilings in favor of space for several hundred more exhibits.

The museum did the same thing when they tore down the old Hayden Planetarium and replaced it with the "Rose Center for Earth and Space," a giant cube in a giant glass box.  Most of that area is now an empty space, trading practical exhibit space for "architectural wonder."  That giant space houses only a small number of unimpressive exhibits on the bottom level.

I blame liberalism for this.  Liberals are responsible for perverting not just economics and cultural norms, but also the arts, including architecture.  Every time liberals design something like a train station or a terminal, they design a huge structure like a modern-day pharaoh's palace instead of what's most practical.  It reminds me of the recent story of the government spending $4 billion on La Guardia airport but doing nothing about flight delays.  There's a total lack of a sense of priorities.

In this case, much of the money is privately raised, but not all of it.  The museum whines about getting 100,000 new objects added to its collection a year, but this $325-million Planet of the Apes fantasy won't even make a dent in it.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.

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