Dallas' New Perot Museum of Nature and Science Celebrates Opening Weekend With Thousands Of Visitors

Dec 03, 2012, 11:03 ET from Perot Museum of Nature and Science

From dinosaurs, gigantic gems and a leap frog forest, to wild weather, virtual sports and 3D adventures underground and through space, Perot Museum captures spirit of science and excites all ages

DALLAS, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened its doors to the public Saturday amidst great fanfare, including a stunning and graceful aerial dance performed by Project Bandaloop against the 14-story striated exterior of the museum's cube. Confetti guns, lively music, remarks by dignitaries and even a "hip-hip-hooray" led by Ross Perot added to the festivities.  The inaugural weekend attracted thousands of visitors. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121203/DC22610)

The Dallas museum is named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot, the result of a $50 million gift by their adult children – Ross Perot, Jr.; Nancy Perot Mulford; Suzanne Perot McGee; Carolyn Perot Rathjen; and Katherine Perot Reeves. The Museum is located on a 4.7-acre site at 2201 N. Field St., just north of downtown Dallas.

"I hope you will agree that this is 180,000 square feet of inspiration that will get everybody excited about nature and science," said Rathjen, the chair of the Perot Museum board of directors, during the ribbon-cutting ceremonies. 

The building was designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his California firm, Morphosis Architects.  The overall building mass was conceived as a large cube floating over the site's landscaped plinth (or base).  The landscape architecture, which reflects Texas's indigenous ecosystems and demonstrates a living system that will evolve naturally over time, was created by Dallas-based Talley Associates. 

Because its mission is to "inspire minds through nature and science," the Perot Museum fully embraces both the natural world and the manmade world, focusing on earth and space sciences, life and natural sciences, chemistry, physical sciences and engineering.

The 180,000-square-foot museum features five floors of public space with 11 permanent exhibit halls, including a children's museum complete with outdoor play space/courtyard, and a state-of-the-art hall designed to host world-class traveling exhibitions. Other highlights include an expansive glass-enclosed lobby and adjacent rooftop deck; a multi-media 3D digital cinema with seating for 298; a flexible-space auditorium; a Cafe; and a Museum Shop.

The Perot Museum expects to attain three environmental designations – LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; Green Globes Certification from the Green Building Initiative, (separate from the Green Building Council), which focuses on a wide range of sustainable issues including operations; and the Sustainable Sites Initiative, which emphasizes landscape and site design.

The $185-million fundraising goal – which provided for the site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the new building, education programs and an endowment – was achieved November 2011, more than a year before the Museum's scheduled opening.

The Perot Museum is open year round Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Please check the website for special holidays, extended hours and unexpected closings.

General admission is $15 for adults (18-64), $12 for students (12-17) and seniors (65+), and $10 for children (2-11).  Admission to the theater is $8 for adults, students, seniors and children. Combo admission to the exhibit halls and theater is $20 for adults, $17 for students and seniors and $15 for children. For members, general exhibit hall admission is free, and theater admission is $6 for member adults, students, seniors and children. (NOTE: Traveling exhibits may have a surcharge.) Parking is available for a nominal fee in nearby lots.

For information, visit perotmuseum.org or call 214-428-5555

Becky Mayad  

SOURCE Perot Museum of Nature and Science