Children's Museum expanding

July 24, 2008
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Indianapolis Children’s MuseumThe world’s largest children’s museum is getting bigger. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis plans to build a $15.7 million expansion with 37,500 square feet of new space including a welcome center, bus driveway and bike port. The project is slated to begin in the next few months and should be done in time for the arrival of a blockbuster King Tut exhibit scheduled to open in June 2009, said Craig Emsweller, the museum’s vice president of operations. A preliminary rendering shows a towering glass entryway with a large dinosaur peeking inside, mirroring the dinosaur statues outside the Dinosphere exhibit. The project will extend a skywalk into the museum, provide a safer entry drive, add new landscaping and relocate a library branch within the museum. Funding will come from a $12.5 million Federal Transportation Administration grant and a 20 percent local match. It would be the largest expansion since 2004 for the 433,500-square-foot museum between Illinois and Meridian streets at 30th Street. A hearing on the project scheduled for today likely will be moved to Aug. 14.
  • Could someone tell me how the funds came from a Federal Transportation Administration grant.
  • Looks good. Amazing museum!
  • To Pork Producer - The reason the money came from a federal transportation grant is likely due to the issues of safer vehicle and pedetrian access, the bike port, and bus laoding zones. I seem to recall this haviung to do with Julie Carson twisting arms in DC, thus you're moniker no doubt.

    As usual, pork projects are BAD unless it's in one's own district, then we're just getting what we've got coming to us since everyone else is feeding at the trough so we're entitled to our turn.

    As a frequent visitor with my young child, connecting the parking deck's pedestrian ramp completely into the building is a great idea in cold or rainy weather while juggling a kid, stroller etc. Now it dumps out onto the sidewalk about 75 feet from the doors. The picture also seems to show it being enclosed all the way to the buildning. The only part that's enclsoed now is over the roadway - the majority of the rmap, maybe another 200 feet is exposed on both sides and the wind and rain and cold isn't so fun for that long of a trek, again, while carrying a kid.
  • Awesome. I really do hope those dinosaur statues actually loook like they are going into the building. That would be cool. I drive by this place all the time and the pedistrian and walkway and weird street light. you can't even see it from 30th street. It's bery narrow, and the previous poster is right. Everyone is exposed to the elements except for above the road.

    I love seeing all the people and families take pictures of the Dinosaurs busting out of the building. These two no pre-historic creatures will bee fun to see also.

    It was Carson, but it was also Bayh and Lugar that pushed for it as well, as they have both made comments about the Museum in the recent past.

  • Thank you Indy Guy.
  • That looks like a great addition to the Children's Museum.
  • Great news! Does anybody know where this will be built exactly?
  • Maybe it's because I don't have any kids (although I want the ones around me to get a well-runded education), but it seems to me that a towering glass entryway and a huge dinosaur peeking in has nothing to due with safe transportation. I guess we'll be paying for some short-sighted development on the part ofthe Children's Museum. Didn't they know about these limitations when they developed the parking garage in the first place. If parents need a safe way into the museum, that's one thing. But these are federal dollars folks. Why should someone in Las Cruces, Dallas, or Wala Wala have to pay for a dinosaur on our Children's Museum?

    P.S. Towering Glass Entryway = high energy usage!!!! How about some green development and then create an exhibit showcasing it at a kid level.
  • Any clue what firm is responsible for the schematic design?
  • Oop, I meant well-rounded.

    Also, our roads are in horrible condition. Wouldn't 14.5 million dollars pave a bunch of roads leading to the museum, making actual transportation safer for all! Not to mention a more adequate use of federal transportation dollars?
  • We'll never win with the bunch in Washington unless they will ever change the rules. The Dems have stopped that for years and the GOP blew it when they had the chance to change things.

    I wish there were a way to toss them all out, especially the Senate. This project is great, but federal tax dollars going to transportation projects, c'mon!!!

    Just remember Bayh's legacy is rampant gambling in Indiana, Lugar has stayed too long, and young Carson, all you that voted for him will be sorry.
  • This money came from an earmark. I believe the late Rep. Carson inserted it into a bill. One man's important earmark is another man's pork barrel project. Almost every member of Congress puts earmark requests in.

    One thing to keep in mind is that since Indiana is a donor state that gets top up funds to bring it to the minimum level allowed by law, my understanding is that earmarks only reduce the amount of funding Indiana gets elsewhere (by reducing the amount of top up or minimum guarantee funds), and thus has no net positive impact on the state in terms of how much it gets back from Washington.

    Indiana only gets back about 90 cents on the dollar in gas taxes it sends to DC.
  • julia carson is a NO-BODY-twist arms my butt-she wasted and her followers will continue to waste tax payer money on the most asinine projects. 300 East/West WHATEVER....are you kidding me???? museum is great, but let's but $MM of dollars to better use in this City.

    BOOO to Carson and Carson JR. he will do an even worse job for his constituents. Peace!
  • Ironically, you sound like one of the most unintelligent people ever smart

    On another note, I think this area around the Children's Museum is really primed for a fair share of mixed use redevelopment!
  • smart is a true moron

    It is time to send Washington a message – STOP THE PORK. In 2007 members of Congress requested more than 30,000 earmarks. It’s time for a change. SupportCongressman John Kline, and he is trying to charge business as usual in Washington. But he needs your help to stop wasteful pork-barrel spending. Help him send a message to his friends in Washington. By signing his petition and supporting this effort financially, he will send a clear message to Washington: we need to STOP THE PORK.

    Congress refuses to reform the way they do business and they keep spending tax dollars on frivolous projects. In fact, Congress wasted billions of our hard earned tax dollars in 2007 on projects like:

    • olive fruit fly research in Paris, France

    • the Montana Sheep Institute

    • the Lobster Institute

    • and even money to develop a walking tour of Boydton, Virginia.
    Enough is enough! By signing our petition – we can stop the pork.
  • Heaven forbid visitors to the Children's Museum have to be exposed to the sky for some portion of the trek from the car to the door and vice versa! I can't believe anyone is visiting the place now under such conditions. It seems to be a great institution, but I concur with the comments that the $12.5 million dollars could have been put to so much better use. How many miles of sidewalk could've been built or repaired? How many miles of streets? How about an urban greenway to provide a safe, attractive exclusive bike path on Illinois Street to get to the museum and other midtown destinations from downtown? Or an extension of the Cultural Trail connecting downtown to Irvington, Pleasant Run, and the proposed Pennsy Trail, by way of New York Street through the near eastside?

    How much more economic and social benefit would the City reap by converting a bleak single-focus, high-speed, one-way urban expressway (i.e. New York or Illinois Streets) into an attractive, well landscaped, multi-modal two-way neighborhood serving street? Is it any wonder the neighborhoods these streets traverse are virtually devoid of any economic activity or well-maintained housing?
  • idyllic, check the IndyParks master plan, the Greenways plan, and the 1999 Fall Creek Trail plan.

    All call for a spur of the Fall Creek Trail on Illinois to the front door of the museum. So the idea of an urban greenway on Illinois is at least 10 years old, but it probably won't take another 10 years to get it built. In fact, part of the local match for this project should be building the trail.
  • How about an enterance off of Meridian Street? Is that too much to ask for? o_O
  • WOW this forum has turned into a cry-fest! Let's kick and scream some more about how unfair it is that the museum is expanding so families with toddlers and strollers wont have to cross a busy street to get into the museum... lets shed more tears about how bad Julia Carson was. STFU already. It's pathetic!
  • The most lame is the one that puts it in his name. Everyone that speaks up about how much of a ridiculous expenditure of tax dollars this project is deserves their say. They are correct and should be on board to make their voices heard. There was no cry in their words, only objection. Take your nasty acronyms to another post and stay away if you don't like it.
  • I'm alone on this, but I love what I see here. This addition will continue to bring national recognition to Indy and the Children's Museum.

    Could the money have been earmarked for something more important? Sure it could've, but this thing is moving forward and I will embrace this new addition to the museum.

    If a dinosaur coming out of glass building gets my little girl excited about learning and going to the museum, then I am all for it.
  • FTA Funds? Are you kidding me? This is why Indy can't build rail, it's too busy using FTA funds on PARKING GARAGES.

    Now, I am all for expansion of the CM. It is such a great asset to our City. I just don't like FTA dollars going to this.

    I agree that this area is in need of some good, mixed-use projects. The former gas station that is now soome green space would make for a nice infill project.
  • I am really looking forward to taking my grandchildren to this
  • If they'd built the parking garage on the EAST side of Illinois to begin with, it wouldn't be an issue today. (The original exterior parking-lot doors were just a few feet west of the elevators, by the grand stair.) There was never an issue with getting inside with kids and strollers when the primary parking was on the east side of Illinois.
  • from looking at the aerial photos, i can see why they didn't build the parking garage on the east side of illinois as this would have landlocked the museum and prevented further exhibition space expansion.

    Can someone please explan further where this building is actually to be built?

    Is it going where the current walkway from the museum to the parking garage is, ontop of the current circle right in front of the museum?

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