Sunday, September 28, 2008

California Academy of Sciences - Congress

For the inspirational opening of the California Academy of Sciences yesterday - see previous blogs -House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented Mayor Gavin Newsom beforehand with a Congressional Record. She was unable to be there herself as she had to be in Congress.

The Congressional Record is as follows:

'As Speaker of the House of Representatives I send the appreciation of the Congress to those who have given San Francisco, as well as the world, the magnificent gift of the new California Academy of Sciences as it opens on September 27 2008.

Generations of Bay Area residents have grown up with the Academy as a cultural treasure in Golden Gate Park visiting as schoolchildren and then bringing their own children to this center of exploration and natural sciences education. Worn by earthquakes, age and the love of so many children, its friends reimagined the best possible version of this beloved institution.

How fortunate are we all that the Academy's board and leadership secured the talent and vision of the brilliant Italian architect Renzo Piano who transformed this natural science museum into an architectural triumph and forward-looking example of energy-efficient design. The Academy also benefited greatly from the crusading spirit of former Executive Director Pat Kociolek whose enthusiasm for a 21 Century natural history center became infectious.

The California Academy of Sciences is home to the Steinhart Aquarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum, Morrison Planetarium and world-class research and education programs. The magnificent new site boasts a four-storey living rainforest and awe-inspiring corral reef eco system, a living roof of California native plants which is an engineering marvel of seven hills reflecting San Francisco's landscape. The Academy is committed to preserving natural habitats and protecting essential natural resources.

San Francisco prides itself on being a model for the nation, indeed the world, when it comes to preserving our beautiful planet for future generations. Therefore it is fitting that the California Academy of Sciences will be the greatest nature museum in the world and stands with the de Young Museum to make Golden Gate Park a destination of world class museums.

This extraordinary renovation of the Academy benefited greatly from large private philanthropy, due in great part to the tireless work of the Academy's board of trustees led by the task force of William Wilson, Martha Karpf, George Montgomery and Richard Bingham. The renovation also benefited from funding from the city and the state and I am pleased my colleagues in Congress join with me to obtain $8 million in federal investment for this innovative project.....'

For more pics:

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