Miami Museum of Science
The Museum of Science and Natural History spread its welcome mat on September 25, 1960. Miamians stared open-mouthed and wide-eyed at exhibits like the 14-foot Kodiak bear; a giant globe in the lobby (originally built for Pan American Airlines); Seminole and Tequesta Indians scenes; and a planetarium. The museum, originally conceived in 1949 by The Junior League of Miami, was housed in crowded headquarters on North Bayshore Dr. It later moved to a location on the Vizcaya grounds on South Miami Avenue. The Space Transit Planetarium, a half-sphere 90 feet in diameter, was the largest of its kind when it opened in November 1966. Programs such as “Are we alone?” explored the possibility of life elsewhere in space. “A journey to the Moon,” simulated the takeoff from Cape Kennedy, with movies and sound effects. In 1991, the museum went through a $5 million renovation to expand its exhibition space and add new facilities. After five decades, the Science museum closed at its Vizcaya location on August 2015. The institution relocated to downtown Miami in 2016.