Just a few months after the American Museum of Natural History opened its brand new Richard Gilder Center, the adjacent greenspace, Theodore Roosevelt Park, has officially reopened to the public as of July 13th, 2023.
The renovations, done in partnership between the American Museum of Natural History and NYC Parks, include new pathways, benches, gathering areas and plantings.
Reed Hilderbrand was the landscape and architecture firm tasked with the project. The company worked in conjunction with community organizations, elected officials, Community Board 7, and government agencies to reach the final design.
The reopening kicked off last night with with a neighborhood gathering, followed by a viewing party for the final Manhattanhenge of the year.
“On behalf of the American Museum of Natural History, I am delighted to welcome our neighbors and visitors to this rejuvenated area of Theodore Roosevelt Park, the greenspace the Museum is fortunate to call home. I want to thank NYC Parks for its stewardship of the park and its collaboration with the Museum and local community in making these improvements,” said Sean M. Decatur, President of the Museum. “We take pride that the Museum, including the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, is a building located in a park, and it’s wonderful to mark this occasion together with our neighbors.”
According to NYC Parks, prior to the museum’s construction, the city originally planned to use the park’s space for a botanical garden or zoo. Another fun fact: the park was actually known as Manhattan Square before it was renamed to honor the youngest president in American history, Theodore Roosevelt, in 1958.
One of the park’s main features is the dog run that was first installed in the 90s. In fact, it’s actually one of the largest dog runs in all of NYC.
If you missed the grand reopening, don’t fret! Theodore Roosevelt Park will remain open to the public to enjoy alongside the museum. You can find the entrance to the park at 79th and Columbus Avenue.