When Was the Arizona Museum of Natural History Built?

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a popular tourist attraction located in Mesa, Arizona. It showcases the rich history and culture of the Southwest region through various exhibits and artifacts.

But when was this magnificent museum built? Let’s dive into its history and find out.

History of the Arizona Museum of Natural History

The idea of building a natural history museum in Mesa, Arizona, was first proposed by the City Council in 1977. The city purchased an old courthouse building that was constructed in 1937 and decided to convert it into a museum.

The Construction Phase

The construction phase began in 1980 with an initial budget of $2 million. The renovation work included adding new floors, walls, ceilings, plumbing, electrical systems, and air conditioning units. The project also involved excavating a basement to create more exhibition space for the museum.

  • Year 1983: The construction work was completed, and the museum opened its doors to the public for the first time on May 26th.
  • Year 1992: A new wing was added to the museum to include more exhibits and collections.
  • Year 2010: A major renovation project took place, which added new interactive displays and improved accessibility for visitors.

The Architecture

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is designed in an Art Deco style that pays tribute to its historic courthouse roots. It features a beautiful entrance lobby with marble floors and bronze fixtures. The exhibits are displayed across three levels connected by a grand staircase.

The Exhibits

The museum hosts several permanent exhibits that showcase the natural history of Arizona and its surrounding regions. Some notable ones include:

  • Dinosaur Mountain: This exhibit features life-size models of dinosaurs that once roamed the area millions of years ago.
  • Lost Dutchman Mine: This exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the history of mining in Arizona and explores the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.
  • Native Peoples of the Southwest: This exhibit showcases the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Native American tribes that have lived in the region for centuries.

In Conclusion

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and nature. Its rich exhibits and artifacts offer a glimpse into the past and present of Arizona and its neighboring regions. Now that you know when it was built, plan your next visit to this magnificent museum to explore its wonders yourself!