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The Denver Museum of Nature and Science
by Stormy on March 28, 2007

It's a pretty big place. Ever wonder how the museum came to be?

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has its roots in the second half of the 19th century. In 1868 naturalist Edwin Carter came to Colorado and started a small museum in his Breckenridge cabin. Carter collected the birds and mammals of the Rocky Mountains and prepared them for display. It wasn't long before he had one of the most complete collections of the local animal kingdom. This incarnation of the museum is known as the "Carter Museum". Word of Carter's museum spread far and wide, attracting much interest, and a new facility was needed to house the collection. Money was raised and on December 6, 1900 the Colorado Museum of Natural History was born. It was 1908 before a new building was constructed and opened for the public, on the outskirts of Denver in what is now the Denver City Park. Before long Carter's animal collection was joined by a mineral collection from John Camion and an insect collection from John Mason. In 1940 the Phipps Auditorium was added to the museum and in 1983 it was modified to house the first IMAX theater in the region. It is said that the Phipps IMAX has the largest theater screen in the world. A rebranding of sorts took place in 1948 as the museum's name was changed to the Denver Museum of Natural History. In 1968 the Gates Family Foundation was instrumental in the creation of the Gates Planetarium, which in 2002 underwent a major makeover as a part of the museum's expansion to house more exhibits. Marking its centennial in 2000, the Denver Museum of Natural History rebranded again, renaming itself to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, presenting its current mission in a more accurate way. Today the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a major cultural feature on the Colorado's Front Range. It is a champion of research and education and attracts some of the best known scientists in the world. The Museum's permanent collections and exhibits include the Space Odyssey, Hall of Life, Prehistoric Journey, significant collections featuring gems and minerals, insects and butterflies, an Egyptology section, dozens of dioramas featuring still-life from all over the world and many other one of a kind features.

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