Friday, July 14, 2000
Museum Center hoping to expand
Proposed deal would exchange buildings
By Owen Findsen
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Cincinnati Museum Center can stretch into world-class status and have its own hall of dinosaurs if a $6.5 million property swap is approved by City Council.
The deal would mean the museum's landmark building at Gilbert Avenue and Elsinore Street would become a new Episcopal Diocese elementary school, while the museum would get a larger building on Gest Street for some offices, storage and laboratories.
At the same time, the Museum Center would expand exhibits in Union Terminal.
Museum officials said they hope to present a proposal for the complicated property swap to City Council by early August.
This is one of the biggest things that has happened for the Museum Center, said Museum Center President and Chief Executive Officer Douglass McDonald. It advances us considerably in our ability to care for our collections and provide research opportunities. And it lets us plan for future exhibits in the Museum Center's Union Terminal building.
Before the Episcopal Diocese could take over the Gilbert Avenue building for its school, it must purchase the National Underwriter building on Gest Street for about $6.5 million. Then the church would turn that over to the museum, which estimates it would have to raise another $1.5 million to complete expansion there.
The Gilbert Avenue building with its planetarium, castle-like exterior and woolly mammoths was the Natural History Museum from 1957 until the Cincinnati Museum Center opened at Union Terminal in 1990. Since then, it has housed natural scientists, researchers and more than 2 million museum objects. The building lacks climate control needed to preserve museum objects.
Union Terminal is running out of space, Mr. McDonald said. The building has 110,000 square feet for exhibitions, with 30,000 square feet (about the size of the Children's Museum) left for expansion. Historic objects, manuscripts, books and fine arts would be moved to Gest Street.
Getting our collections in a better space has been a top priority, said Jane Mac-
Knight, director of collections. The new building will have state-of-the-art storage and laboratories, as well as classrooms for the area colleges that are affiliated with the Museum Center.
Church hopes school helps neighborhood rise
$6.5M trade of buildings sought
Truck jumps barrier; wreck blocks I-275
Museum Center hoping to expand
$2.6M raised for new arts campus
Education chief calls Parham model school
Reading as they never did before
Stadium changes set for Aug. 1
Lab report frees murder suspect
Report: Life is good for U.S. kids
Tristate statistics compared to the U.S.
Accused child molester takes his life in Minn.
Armed robbers invade Newport home
Break-ins may be linked to serial rapist
No suspects, no leads in killing
Put games at tracks, Ohio told
Withrow may owe fix-up to alumni
Allowance can pay dividends
GET TO IT
KIESEWETTER: 'Freaks' too pricey for cable
Pig Parade: Jiggin' Piggy
Ukrainians find their dream home
Who should be cast away?
Assault suspect out on bond
Butler Co. tent jail unfurled again
Butler seeks plan to lure tech firms
Charge lessened in beating, death
Chief wants to reach out
City unit expects to take hit in golf fees during air show
Court gives kids access to new world
Dayton's oldest hospital closing
Facility for teens won't be at site
Fliers faze few in village
Kentucky museum shows firearms as works of art
Lawyer disputes 'harassing' calls
Lebanon earns praise in survey
Neglected teen sent to prison
Parents of school shooter dismissed as defendants
Park to be named for couple
State holds off on monument
Swimming meet tests new pool
Toyota warehouse could boost economy
Tristate A.M. Report
Unpopular park road approved