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Penny Loretto

The American Museum of Natural History

By November 29, 2012

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The American Museum of Natural History sits on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, directly across from Central Park at 79th Street.  The Museum was founded in 1869 based on a proposal by Dr. Albert Smith Bickmore, American naturalist of the 19th Century.  He accomplished his goal with the support of Teddy Roosevelt, J. Piermont Morgan, and William E. Dodge, among others.

The cornerstone for the first building at the museum's current locations was laid in 1874 by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.  The original Gothic Victorian style building was opened in 1877 and was soon joined by the brownstone neo-Romanesque architecture at the Southern end of the museum.  The main entrance on Central Park West was completed in 1936 and features the New York State Memorial Statue of Theodore Roosevelt, completed by John Russell Pope, also the designer of The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The current Museum is comprised of 25 interconnected buildings housing 46 permanent exhibition halls along with research laboratories and a world renowned research library.  It houses a Diorama of North America, Asia, and Africa along with extensive anthropological collections of each region. The Hall of African Mammals, also known as the Akeley Hall, has long been considered by many to be one of the world's greatest museum displays.

The Museum is definitely one of the high points of any visit to New York City and an amazing place for any student interested in natural history, geology, conservation, or a variety of other disciplines to participate in an internship.

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