The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science announced today that it has received an additional $10 million gift from Phillip and Patricia Frost to name the new Museum’s state-of-the-art Planetarium. Longtime supporters of South Florida’s arts and culture, Phillip and Patricia Frost had previously gifted a $35 million donation to name the Museum, which was announced in 2011. The Frost’s generous decision to name the Planetarium was made just as the Museum is celebrating the completion of the enclosure of its new fulldome Planetarium, a major construction milestone, readily apparent to all visitors of downtown Miami.
“With this additional generous gift to the Museum’s Planetarium, Phillip and Patricia Frost are making it possible to visit not just the farthest reaches of the universe, but also to explore other environments from the deep oceans to inside the human body. Its educational impact will be immense,” said Trish and Dan Bell, Co-Chairs of the Board of Trustees of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. “We are extremely grateful for their continued support, allowing the Museum to be a center for learning and innovation for everyone to explore the impact of science and technology on our lives.”
“We have a strong commitment to excellence in education and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Planetarium will be a destination unique to Miami, propelling visitors on scientific adventures,” said Patricia Frost. “We are honored to be continuing our support of what will be one of the finest science centers in the world.”
Gillian Thomas, President and CEO of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science said, “We are particularly thrilled with the Frost’s new commitment, as the newly named Frost Planetarium will be one of the new Museum’s most iconic components. The educational programs will also provide the opportunity to both investigate optics with laser technology, as well as learn how to develop a planetarium show. At night, the Planetarium’s exterior will feature the latest images of the planets and the earth from space.”
The completion of the dome was a carefully orchestrated project that took almost three weeks to complete under the direction of Skanska USA and Hill International. A few facts about the Planetarium include:
- 250-seat Planetarium with stadium style seating format
- 16-million-color 8K projection system
- There are 54 concrete panels that make up the self-supporting Planetarium dome.
- The panels were installed opposite one another in a counter-clockwise rotation to avoid lateral load on the dome capstone – the top center portion that anchors all of the panels.
- The total weight of all pieces exceeds 1.6 million pounds.
- The diameter of the capstone is about 30 feet.
- One concrete panel measures approximately 48 feet from base to top, is roughly 9 feet wide at the base and tapers to approximately 3 feet at the top, where the panels meet the capstone.
Located in downtown Miami’s Museum Park, the new Museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2016. The Planetarium enclosure comes as construction of the Museum surpasses the 50 percent completion point.