The MMA is building a state-of-the-art Aquarium and Science Center at 31 and 33 Washington Street. The new facility will serve as the home of the Maria Mitchell Aquarium. It will also include a domed theater and exhibits featuring the natural world of Nantucket. The Center will become the prime location for science lectures and educational programming for the Nantucket community.
The main Science Center building with a dome passed the HDC with minor changes! Thank you to everyone who turned out last night for the meeting. And special thanks to those who spoke in support. We hope to break ground this coming fall.
Download our design portfolio to see the process behind the design.
Read a few letters of support from the community:
|Murray’s Toggery Shop||Nantucket Pharmacy|
|Chamber of Commerce||Nantucket Preservation Trust|
|Nantucket Land Bank||The Trustees of Reservations|
|Wannacomet Water Company||Visitor Services|
|NPS Superintendent||Drake Letter to the Editor|
Learning through Discovery
The new Aquarium and Science Center will serve as a portal to the natural world of Nantucket. Visitors will learn about this eco-paradise through exhibits about the island’s unique habitats—from sea to shore to grasslands, heaths, moors, vernal pools, and forests— demonstrating the features, flora and fauna of each habitat. These displays will serve as demonstrations of the best ways to protect and respect the island’s precious ecology.
As part of the Nantucket Aquarium and Science Center, MMA will also transform a building on its Vestal Street Campus into a Natural Sciences Research Center. The Research Center will house laboratory facilities and a classroom lab and serve as the storage center for our biological collections.
Nantucket deserves a top-notch science center to support exploration and enjoyment of Nantucket’s unique land, waters and skies; to educate and train our children and the next generation of scientists; and to inspire a love and understanding of science based on Nantucket’s natural beauty.
A Cultural Corridor
The Nantucket Aquarium and Science Center will be an accessible destination point for visitors and residents. The Aquarium and Science Center will complete the cultural landscape of downtown Nantucket when it joins the Whaling Museum, the Atheneum, the Dreamland Theatre, and the Joyce and Seward Johnson Art Gallery—all within a short walk from Main Street.
Today, 12,000 people visit the MMA Aquarium, Observatory, Natural Science Museum or attend campus events. This number is projected to triple to 36,000 per year upon the completion of the Nantucket Aquarium and Science Center in 2015.
Respecting the Environment, Open Space, and Dark Skies
Nantucket has an established reputation for respecting the environment, open space and dark skies. Fifty percent of the island land is designated as open space; its Light Pollution Ordinance allows for excellent star-gazing; local organizations are focused on the harbor’s health and maintain a 90% -plus recycling rate at the landfill. The island’s reputation as an eco-paradise will be enhanced by the new facility.
The plans for the adaptive use of existing buildings in the new science center complex, by reusing them to house exhibits, encourage Nantucket’s focus on green building and historic preservation.