Cleveland Museum of Natural History Centennial Project

  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History Centennial Project
  • Cleveland, OH
  • 2014 - Present


The CMNH Centennial Campaign is a $150 million 4-phase expansion and renovation project transforming  every part of the museum – from all new exhibits to state of the art collections care areas.  The major new entrance with visitor amenities and earned revenue areas will enhance the museum’s presence on Wade Oval scaling the museum up as the gateway to the area.  The 60,000 SF expansion has been conceived as a new experience that physically ties the primary exhibit areas with the collections and research that inform them, daylighting more of what the museum does for visitors.


CMNH advanced their major expansion and renewal project by engaging WCA as part of the team focusing the planning into the level of detail needed to capture the needs of public areas, exhibit halls, collections areas and support spaces.  Starting with a fresh look, the process focused initially on improving visitor flow and ‘right sizing’ spaces in the addition for their specialized functions through discussions with staff leading to more detailed layouts early in design. By ‘working around’ the exhibit design and without losing any program areas, the cost challenges of the project were addressed and successfully met. This process has also helped to define scope and costs for the construction manager.


The Museum has moved forward with the project scope that satisfies all departments:  exhibits, education, collections & research as well as leadership who have a greater level of assurance that the outcomes match scope and available resources.  The confidence built by engaging staff and providing information that allows them to make informed decisions has also helped the design team advance more rapidly in documentation capturing