Friday, July 3, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

One of my favorite places to visit in Cleveland is the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Located in the University Circle area – a hotbed of museums and culture – this museum offers a look into the natural history of the earth and the stars.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History opened in 1920. The driving force behind it was Harold T. Clark, a Cleveland lawyer and philanthropist. The museum’s first headquarters were in a business office in the Lennox Bldg. at E. 9th St. and Euclid Ave, but in 1922 the museum moved many of the displays to the former Leonard Hanna mansion on Euclid Ave. But, having more displays than it had space, and with the Hanna house being affected by highway construction, a newer facility – which is also its current home – was constructed in University Circle. Between 1958 and 1961, the museum opened 5 interconnected units located at the current 1 Wade Oval address, directly across from the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The museum is filled with all sorts of natural wonders, covering specimens and displays of archeology, paleontology, geology, mineralogy, botany, wildlife, and astronomy (which includes a planetarium). According to Wikipedia, here are some of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s most famed attractions:

Extensive examples of Late Devonian Cleveland Shale fish.
Nine hundred monkey and ape skeletons, and more than 3,100 human skeletons (the Hamann-Todd Collection).
The only specimen of the small tyrannosaur Nanotyrannus lancensis.
The holotype of the Haplocanthosaurus sauropod.
The most complete mount of a Coelophysis bauri.
The remains of Balto the sled dog.
An extensive mineralogy collection that includes a moon rock and the Jeptha Wade gem collection.
Replica skeletons of Triceratops and Jane, a juvenile tyrannosaurid.
Multiple mastodon and mammoth specimens.
A cast of an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, an early hominid affectionately dubbed Lucy.
A new T-rex skeleton that is now on display.

It is a great place for adults and children to learn about the earth’s past, and about all the living things that have inhabited it over the years. My personal favorites from the museum are any exhibits having to do with rocks, minerals, and gems - and the gift shop, of course.

Here is a brief but very interesting video from Insider Perks that will give you some of the highlights of this fine museum.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland, here.

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