Miami cultural icon takes new shape downtown

In an ever-changing city like Miami, there has always been one location that has, until recently, withstood the test of time. The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, formerly located in Coconut Grove, will undergo a major transformation, reopening in downtown Miami’s Museum Park next to the Perez Art Museum Miami in the summer of 2016.

With the new renovations come updated attractions that will bring this old gem into the new age.

Serving as the museum’s focal point will be The Frost Planetarium, a massive, round planetarium with 16-million-colors, eight thousand laser projections, and the most advanced technology that will prominently display the vast expanses of the Milky Way galaxy.

The ingenious design will allow all viewers to gaze upon the projections without having to strain their necks like with most traditional planetariums.

With its stadium-style seating, advanced surround sound and software, the planetarium will host laser light shows, live broadcasts from scientists, and visuals transmitted by space probes and satellites.

“Visitors will be able to travel to distant galaxies, tour our planet from space, dive deep into the Gulf Stream, explore the inside of the human brain or discover the new world of nanotechnology,” Joseph Quiñones, Marketing Manager for the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, said.

The planetarium will even be a spectacle to behold from the outside with themed and seasonal projections that will change throughout the year.

The designers of the museum will also be introducing a multitude of aquariums that bring an interactive feel to Miami’s distinct aquatic environments. The biggest will be the 100 foot Gulfstream aquarium accessible from the rooftop to the levels below and visible from all angles. Visitors will even be able to walk under the attraction, aptly named “Living Coral.”

The new museum will focus on localizing science with a display of Florida coral reefs as part of their collection, having received a license to collect, hold, and display corals from the Port of Miami dredge project and local corals from Nova Southeastern University.

“The aquarium exhibit plan is focused nearly exclusively on South Florida coastal habitats, and South Florida’s coral reef environments specifically, are a major component of the displays and content,” museum Chief Operating Officer, Frank Steslow, said

Despite all these new renovations, an iconic staple of the old museum might not make it to the new reopening.

The 6,500 pound steel rotating globe that was once prominently displayed in the entrance of the museum is stuck in the structure of the old museum and will not be incorporated into the new facility.

“I am excited to visit the museum. I will visit it myself and determine if it would be appropriate for my environmental science classes to visit,” Monica Branton, Environmental Science teacher, said.

While the original facility stretched across three acres of the historic Vizcaya complex when it first opened, the new museum will expand to a four acre five, story powerhouse structure.

Situated between the Perez Art Museum Miami and the newly renovated Bay Front Park, the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum will be a welcomed sight in Miami’s growing cultural scene.

The new Patricia and Philip Frost Museum, with all its new attractions and innovations, could provide its visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience and foster invigorated interest in the scientific communities for visitors young and old alike.