First building of the American Museum of Natural History

1870's

First building of the American Museum of Natural History

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United States United States > New York > Manhattan Community Board 7
In the early days of the museum, the exhibits were not nearly as sophisticated or interesting as they are today. "It was more of a collection of" cabinets of curiosities, "Costa said. It started out as just a collection of exhibits inside the Central Park Arsenal and finally moved into its first building in 1877. But not long after that, the museum was in jeopardy of closing because it was considered "boring," Costa said. "The trustees were told to shut it down, because people weren't coming here." But rather than giving up, Morris K. Jesup, then the president of the museum, launched into a "golden age of exploration," she said. From 1880 to 1930, the museum was involved in several expeditions around the world that led to the discovery of the North Pole, dinosaur fossils in Asia and many more breakthroughs. And with each finding the museum's collections improved and expanded, and the people came.
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