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NYC museum to reopen Theodore Roosevelt Memorial this month

October 01, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The new statue of President Theodore Roosevelt, still under wraps, arrived at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City last Thursday.
The new statue of President Theodore Roosevelt, still under wraps, arrived… (Bebeto Matthews / Associated…)

More than a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt went on a really big camping trip that forever changed America.

In 1903 he visited Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and slept under the stars in Yosemite with John Muir, who pressed him to preserve the land of big granite walls as a national park. By the time he left office, Roosevelt had created five national parks, 18 national monuments, 51 federal bird sanctuaries and added millions of acres to the national forests.

His actions earned him the title "conservation president," and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City plans a yearlong celebration of Roosevelt's green legacy. For starters, the building's Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, dedicated in 1936, and its rotunda have been restored and will reopen Oct. 27, the former president's 154th birthday.

The memorial adds a new statue and a bronze plaque with a scene of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and a timeless snippet from one of his speeches: "There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country."

As part of the $40-million project, the museum also has restored the Hall of North American Mammals — touching up colors of the fur on the taxidermied specimens, dusting off leaves on the greenery and restoring some of the background paintings — and upgraded the building's Central Park West entrance.

General admission to the museum costs $19 for adults and $10.50 for children. For more information, contact the museum online or call (212) 769-5100.

MaryForgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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