Perot Museum of Nature and Science opens its doors to Dallas
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 18:12
The highly anticipated, $185 million Perot Museum of Nature & Science opened its doors Saturday.
An enthusiastic crowd of roughly 6000 gathered to witness a traditional ribbon cutting, which went awry after Ross Perot Jr.’s oversized scissors failed. Margot Perot had to use her hands to tear the red material.
The museum unveiled under pristine weather conditions and opened a month earlier than expected. Museum visitors were able to enjoy activities and the exhibits that make it unique.
The museum was named after Dallas business man Ross Perot and his family made a $50 million gift in their honor.
The new institution, with a dynamic modern appeal, plans to raise local education standards and become a source of tourism for Dallas.
“We are thrilled that this is going to be adding a bold new piece of modern architecture to the Dallas landscape as well as bringing some amazing unique family attractions to our families in Dallas,” museum CEO Nicole Small said.
Six years in the making and built entirely on private donations, the museum venture is actually a combination of Dallas’ smaller facilities. The Dallas Children’s Museum, the Dallas Natural History Museum and The Science Place all are now under one roof.
As museum visitors enter the lobby they are met with 5 acres of open glass walls to view the landscape.
The 180,000-square-foot large cube museum has concrete coverings that make it appear to be floating over its base. A 54 foot encased in a glass tube extends outside the building to the view of downtown and the freeway.
“It is very much about a sequence of movements, a narrative, a journey kind of walking through an experience. It will be clear to you that it is not a normal building,”museum architect Thom Mayne said. “It’s between a natural site in a displaced geology because the whole building is about being adaptive. It is an exhibit.”
Exhibits and programs are designed for guests of all ages. Displays include dinosaur fossils, an array of gems and minerals, and the buildings plinth roof is home to native Texas plants. The museum also houses a theater, a café and features school programs.
“[A] huge amount of the users of the building will be young children. It is vital that this is useful for them and compelling,” Mayne said.
The museum is an added addition to the arts and culture component of Dallas, which brings in roughly $750 million annually.
The museum joins the ranks of Klyde Warren Park and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge that are enhancing downtown Dallas. The Perot Museum will bring a new dynamic to the city, along with future economic benefits.
The Perot Museum of Nature & Science hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Admission prices are $15 for adults (18-64), $12 for students (12-17) and seniors (65+), $10 for children (2-11) and free for children under 2 and museum members.