Last Thursday’s New York Times provided an update on the six-year-old renovation of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, which is set to upen up in May. The museum, located at the corner of St. Marks and Brooklyn Avenues in Crown Heights, hopes to be the first green children’s museum in the country, and is seeking LEED certification.
Among its energy-saving attributes are a system of photovoltaic roof panels that will generate about 2.5 percent of its electricity, a geothermal system of heat pumps, and six 300-foot-deep wells that will heat and cool the building. The renovation will double the museum’s useable square footage to 102,000, and by 2010 it hopes to welcome 400,000 visitors a year. The project’s architect, Rafael Vinoly, says he hopes the bright yellow building will become “a beacon in a neighborhood that could use a bright spot.”
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was built in 1899 and is the oldest children’s museum in the United States. It’s owned by the City, which contributed $45 million to the renovation. Other financing included $6.9 million in federal funds and a “leadership gift” from Forest City Ratner. Still, the project has lagged because of difficulties in securing funding; a parking lot and theater will remain unfinished until the Museum is able to raise more money for their completion.
- A Serious Building, Tailor Made for Fun (NY Times)