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Museum Of Science Transforms Lobby: Down With Granite, Up With Waterfall, Screens

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If you’ve been to Boston’s Museum of Science in the last couple of years, you’ve probably noticed a bit of construction here and there. From now through the end of July, you'll see a lot more, as the museum transforms its huge lobby in what officials are calling the building's single biggest renovation since it was constructed in 1949.

The new centerpiece of the renovation will be an exhibit overlooking the Charles River about how humans interact with the river environment, says Jonathan Burke, the museum's vice president of visitor experience and operations.

The exhibit will include "large interactive screens, living plant walls, a waterfall and an amazing moving sculpture," he says.

It's scheduled to open by the end of this month, as other lobby construction continues.

What the renovated lobby will not include is the dark granite slabs with names of scientists on them, from Aristotle on, that have been up on the walls since the 1950s. (How to know when a scientific wall of honor is dated: It includes only white men.) The granite will be replaced by contemporary aluminum and glass.

Despite extensive scaffolding, the lobby will remain open throughout its reconstruction.

And in case you've ever been skewered by glare from the lobby's gigantic windows on a sunny afternoon, good news: The glass has already been replaced with high-tech tinted glass that prevents solar glare, Burke says.

The underside of the lobby bridge will be covered by screens. (Courtesy Museum of Science)
The underside of the lobby bridge will be covered by screens. (Courtesy Museum of Science)

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.

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