Opening New Doors to Natural History
Read the latest Los Angeles Times coverage here.
NHM Commons is the Museum’s new wing, which opens new doors to natural history, community co-creation, and belonging. A transformative expansion of the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park opening in 2024, NHM Commons will be a dynamic community hub with a multitude of new and refreshed spaces that will burst with vital, enriching, and accessible experiences celebrating the intersections of science, nature, culture, heritage, and community.
A destination as well as a portal to further exploration of the Museum’s vast resources and experiences, NHM Commons will augment the Museum’s impact, harnessing the spirit and influence of our great city through content and mission-driven programs that serve South L.A. audiences, new visitors to Exposition Park, and NHM’s ever-growing family of members and guests.
The project will encompass approximately 60,000 square feet of renovated space, new construction, and landscaping on the southwest side of its Exposition Park home, including a light-filled welcome center, an inviting lobby with retail space, a multipurpose theater, a café, and a large community plaza.
The indoor/outdoor NHM Commons spaces will enable NHM to expand its community-centered, inclusive, co-created programming, while creating opportunities for people to come together to experience NHM, with or without a ticket. It embodies our principles of community engagement and will serve as a place for the community to come together around critical global and local issues and connect with the natural world.
NHM Commons is the result of years of research and relationship-building with the Museum’s community partners. These efforts inform every aspect of the expansion and the philosophy of co-creation and co-curation that will drive new programming offered at NHM Commons.
NHMLAC has convened two advisory groups for the project, the NHM Commons Native American Advisory Council and the NHM Commons Advisory Coalition. Developing all aspects of NHM Commons in a spirit of community engagement and co-curation delivers on our promise to be a museum of, for, and with Los Angeles.
Read more here about our wonderful advisors!
NHM Commons rendering with landscape design elements
Landscape design for NHM Commons features a row of planting, shade trees, and stone benches facing Exposition Park’s South Lawn
Judith Perlstein Welcome Center
A free communal space for discovery and exploration that features “Gnatalie” — a 70-ft long green sauropod dinosaur, Barbara Carrasco’s Landmark Mural — LA History: A Mexican Perspective, and community co-curated exhibits.
NHM Common's Theater
A 400-seat dynamic, multi-purpose theater for films, live programs, and community events.
NHM Commons Judith Perlstein Welcome Center looking west
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TOWERING ART MAKES L.A. HISTORY
Barbara Carrasco’s landmark 80-foot mural, L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective, portrays the city’s history through a series of vignettes woven into the flowing hair of la Reina de Los Ángeles (the Queen of Los Angeles). For more about the mural and the artist, click here.
MEET OUR GREEN GIANT
Led by the Museum’s Dinosaur Institute, a team of paleontologists and excavators unearthed and assembled Gnatalie, a long-necked dinosaur measuring more than 70 feet long. Not only is Gnatalie awesome in size, but the sauropod is unique in color due to the quarry where it was found, which turns bones green.
Take the journey, from the Utah quarry to NHM, in this interactive experience—From Ground to Mount.
ARCHITECTURE AND PROJECT PARTNERS
Project Architect: Frederick Fisher & Partners
Landscape Architect: Studio-MLA
Exhibition Design: Studio Joseph
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS
NHM Commons is supported by NHMLAC’s Opening New Doors Campaign, which has exceeded $100 million and includes funding for NHM Commons construction as well as endowment and programmatic fundraising efforts. The NHM Commons project is supported by leadership gifts and grants from the following public and private contributors: County of Los Angeles - $30 million; State of California - $9 million; Annenberg Foundation - $5 million; Ron Perlstein, in memory of Judith Perlstein - $5 million; Ahmanson Foundation - $2 million; The Rose Hills Foundation - $2 million, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation - $1 million.