Back in the dark ages when I first visited the Hayden Planetarium by the American Museum of Natural History, it looked like this:
Built in 1935, that brick planetarium was one of the most beloved buildings in the city.
An entire generation had taken field trips there and were now bringing children of their own.
“How dare they tear it down!” we cried in 1995 when the fearsome announcement was made.
The neighborhood went up in arms. I attended a community board meeting in 1996, believing they should preserve and renovate the old one.
But we lost. They tore it down the following year and for three long years a glass box rose in it’s place.
Okay fine. We were wrong.
I think The Rose Center for Earth and Space by architect James Polshek is the most beautiful planetarium ever.
By day it reflects the grand, pre-war apartments
across 81st street.
By night it’s simply magic.