Louisiana Children's Museum

LCM to “Take It Outside” in 2019

The Louisiana Children’s Museum will take the play and learning outside and build a dynamic new museum in New Orleans City Park for children and families in the region and beyond, adding another major educational and visitor attraction to the city’s landscape in mid 2019.

 

LCM in City Park Building Perspective

Child-centered, family-friendly and located in one of the region’s most beautiful and accessible locations, LCM in City Park will have indoor and outdoor environmental elements, including decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating classroom and a restored interpretive wetlands area. The museum grounds will be on an eight and one-half acre site. The LEED-certified building will sit on less than one acre, overlooking a lagoon.

“We are thrilled that the educational exhibits – indoors and out – will take advantage of the natural park setting,” said Julia Bland, chief executive officer of LCM. “This new facility will give us the environment, resources and tools to positively impact early learning and education – a critical need in Louisiana which regularly falls at the bottom of national educational rankings.”

“The Louisiana Children’s Museum’s design for its new site in New Orleans City Park will offer families a wonderful way to play, learn and build essential life skills through hands-on, everyday experiences,” said Ellen Galinsky, chief science officer and executive director, Mind in the Making, Bezos Family Foundation and author of ‘Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.’ “This distinctive resource will serve as a support for parents and caregivers alike, through exhibits and grounds that will combine joyful exploration with learning opportunities each family can master! I applaud their efforts and wish them continued success.”

The new 56,000 square foot facility will include five new indoor exhibit galleries, as well as a literacy center, a parent and teacher resource center and a full-service café. Other museum additions will include a life-sized interactive chess board which will teach children about New Orleans history, an experiential floating classroom on the lagoon’s edge in the wetlands environment and a Mighty Mississippi exhibit which tells the story of the journey of the River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, through St. Louis and Memphis all the way to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. “While we will have these wonderful new exhibits, LCM is not going to forget some of the much-loved features from Julia Street, including the grocery store and bubbles,” added Bland. “Guests will enter through the ‘VestiBlue,’ a nod to our iconic big blue doors.”

“Tulane Pediatrics has been privileged to help shape and support the vision and ambitious plans for the Louisiana Children’s Museum in its reimagined location in City Park. Together we will effectively share our knowledge around the important roles of parenting, development and child health in creating a thriving community,” said Samir S. El-Dahr, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, Tulane University. “Families throughout our region will benefit from this unique partnership and the support and guidance from Tulane Pediatrics’ doctors and staff, as we strive to become a healthier community.”

Upon opening in 2019, more than 225,000 visitors per year are expected to play, learn and connect to nature.

 

Funding the Vision

With the foresight that its current location presents limitations for growth and expansion, LCM has been planning and quietly raising funds for the City Park location since 2006. Through private donations, state and federal grants and support from the State of Louisiana, LCM is close to securing the $47.5 million needed to complete the project.

Major donors Boysie and Joy Bollinger, The Jaeger Foundation and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, along with more than 430 other donors, have contributed so far to the capital campaign. Click here to donate.

Partners and Resources

Joining LCM to collaborate and provide on-site programs are Tulane Pediatrics, Tulane Institute of Early Childhood and Mental Health, LSU AgCenter, and Grow Dat Youth Farm.

“Having seen this ambitious community vision take shape in the early stages, I am delighted with the success of the project thus far, and excited about the resources that will be available for regional families,” said Geoff Nagle, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.C.S.W., president and CEO of the Erikson Institute. “The Louisiana Children’s Museum is breaking new ground in forming a multifaceted early childhood campus and environment that, together with many community partners and engaging programs, will offer essential experiences for young children and their families.”

 

Architecture and Design

LCM selected Seattle-based Mithūn, a national leader in sustainable design, as its lead architect.  Mithūn is supported locally by Waggonner & Ball Architects. “LCM in New Orleans City Park is unique and will be a global leader by bringing together early childhood resources, a children’s museum, environmental learning and landscapes – all within one highly sustainable environment,” said Rich Franko, lead architect, Mithūn. “As designers, we work on projects all over the world that involve children, museums, environmental learning, and community places and consider it a tremendous honor to be part of such a transformational project.”

With the goal of providing the healthiest environment for children and families to grow and learn, LCM will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building in City Park with sustainable systems designed to be visible, engaging and playful. The anticipated designation is LEED Silver.

The new exhibits were designed by Gyroscope, Inc., an award-winning museum planning, architecture and exhibit design firm, located in Oakland, CA.

 

 

Check out this recap of our groundbreaking ceremony held on Saturday, May 20 in New Orleans City Park!

Kid-sized shovels were hard at work in New Orleans City Park today as the Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) broke ground at its new site on Saturday, May 20, bringing the child-centered, family-friendly museum one step closer to reality.

The ceremonial groundbreaking was celebrated by LCM Chief Executive Officer Julia Bland, along with State Senator JP Morell, State Representative Walt Leger, Louisiana Assistant Commissioner of Administration Mark Moses, New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Hebert, City Park CEO Bob Becker and LCM Capital Campaign Chair Lizette Terral.

Click here to read more about the groundbreaking ceremony!

 

 

Click here to support the capital campaign. 

For more information about the campaign, contact Kimberly Allen at (504) 266-2405 or kallen@lcm.org

For media inquiries, contact Leslie Doles at (504) 266-2411 or ldoles@lcm.org

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