|Wikipedia: The American Museum of Natural History is a landmark of Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York, at 79th Street and Central Park West.|
The museum has a staff of more than 1,200. The museum sponsors over 100 special field expeditions each year.
The Museum was founded in 1869. Its first home was the Arsenal building in Central Park. In 1874, ground was broken for the present building, which occupies most of Manhattan Square. The original neo-Gothic range (1874-1877), by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, who were collaborating with Frederick Law Olmsted in structures for Central Park, was soon eclipsed by the south range of the museum, by J. Cleaveland Cady, a robust exercise in rusticated brownstone neo-Romanesque, influenced by H. H. Richardson. A triumphal Roman entrance on Central Park West, (see illustration) completed by John Russell Pope in 1936, is an overscaled, macho Beaux-Arts monument to Teddy Roosevelt. It leads to a vast Roman basilica, where the skeleton of a rearing Barosaurus defending her young from an Allosaurus, is not lost in the general monumentality. The Museum is famous for its habitat groups of African, Asian and North American mammals, for the full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the hall of oceans (reopened in 2003), for the 62-foot Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, and for the "Star of India", the largest blue sapphire in the world. The circuit of a complete floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution, including the world-famous dinosaurs.
The Museum's anthropological collections are also outstanding: Halls of Asian Peoples and of Pacific Peoples, of Man in Africa, Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America.