Topping Out for Perot Museum of Nature & Science
TOPPING OUT HELD TODAY FOR PEROT MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
Ross and Margot Perot make the “official call” instructing Balfour Beatty tower crane operator to hoist steel beam atop Victory Park facility
DALLAS (March 10, 2011) – Recalling the years when many dismissed the idea of a new science museum in Dallas, longtime board member David Corrigan led a celebratory toast as topping out ceremonies were held today for the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. Hundreds cheered the milestone as Ross and Margot Perot made the “official call” instructing the Balfour Beatty crane operator to hoist the steel beam to the top of the structure. The gathering was held on the 17th floor of Park Seventeen overlooking the Victory Park construction site.
“We hoped for this day when we began talking 20 years ago about building a new science museum for Dallas … so to see that final beam move into place is really meaningful,” said Corrigan. “Today happened because you believed, you never gave up, you put in the work and the resources, and we thank you.”
Ross and Margot Perot, their five children and extended family members along with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne were the last to sign the beam. Among those also adding signatures were Museum CEO Nicole G. Small; Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway; Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano; and numerous major donors including The Hoglund Family. The Perot children are Katherine Reeves, Carolyn Rathjen, Suzanne McGee, Nancy Perot and Ross Perot, Jr. “This is an exciting day for the children of North Texas,” said Ross Perot. “It means we are much closer to opening one of the finest science museums in the country. North Texas children will benefit greatly from the exposure to math, science and technology. And I’m sure it will inspire many young people to pursue careers in the sciences. That will be great for our region and our country.”
Over the last 10 days, several beams also have been signed by hundreds of expansion campaign donors, board members, former museum directors, museum staff, elected officials, building design team members, and construction crew members.
“This has truly been a team effort; it just wouldn’t have happened without everyone’s support,” said Small. Unlike many topping out beams that are buried behind walls and wiring, these “symbolic” beams will be prominently positioned in a permanent spot within the glass walls of the building elevators.
“For decades to come, people will be able to pass by and read the names of those who helped make the Perot Museum a reality,” said Small.
To date the Museum has raised $153 million of the $185-million campaign goal. With $32 million remaining, the Museum recently received a substantial boost when Museum officials announced that an anonymous donor had offered a $10-million challenge grant. Inspired by this gift and in hopes of completing the fundraising campaign by the end of 2011, the Museum has launched a communitywide fundraising campaign entitled “Every Gift Counts … Twice” that doubles the impact of every contribution.
Although the Victory Park land was purchased in 2005, Corrigan said plans to build a new state-of-the-art museum to supplement the existing Fair Park facilities ramped up after the 2006 merger of three cultural institutions – the Dallas Museum of Natural History (est. 1936), The Science Place (est. 1946) and the Dallas Children’s Museum (est. 1995) – the need for space became a top priority.
After an exhaustive global search, Mayne and his California firm Morphosis were named design architects. In May 2008, the Perot children made a $50-million gift to the Museum in honor of their parents, Margot and Ross Perot. The Victory Park facility is now named in their honor. Thom Mayne unveiled schematic concepts and renderings in September 2009, and groundbreaking was held in November 2009. The museum is projected to open in early 2013.
The Perot Museum of Nature & Science is currently under construction on a 4.7-acre site located at 1155 Broom St. at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers and Field Street in Victory Park adjacent to downtown Dallas. The structure will be approximately 12 to 14 stories high.
The facility’s interior will include five floors of public space featuring 10 permanent exhibition halls, including a children’s museum and outdoor playspace/courtyard; an expansive glass-enclosed lobby and adjacent outdoor terrace with a downtown view; state-of-the art exhibition hall designed to host world-class traveling exhibitions; an education wing equipped with six learning labs; a large-format, multi-media digital cinema with seating for 300; flexible-space auditorium; public café; retail store; visible exhibit workshops; and offices.
Lastly, the building itself will be used as a “living” example of engineering, sustainability and technology at work.
To donate to the Expansion Campaign, go to natureandscience.org and click on “Donate Now” or contact Mary Crain at 972.201.0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Perot Museum of Nature & Science and the expansion campaign, please go to natureandscience.org.
About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science – the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum – is an AAM-accredited non-profit educational organization located in Dallas's Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and HP. The Museum of Nature & Science also is building a new $185-million museum on a 4.7-acre site in Victory Park to complement the Fair Park facilities. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit natureandscience.org.