Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to the City - To the Greenest Museum In the World

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After having had so much fun at the De Young Museum a few weeks back, we thought we would head back to the City for a few more days of R&R during Spring Break and Easter. We booked a hotel on Fisherman's Wharf, with a heated swimming pool (which the kids loved) and headed back to Golden Gate Park, right across the way from the De Young, to The California Academy of the Sciences.
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Newly opened, in 2008, the building is itself an attraction, and with 10 years of labor and at an expense of $500 million dollars, it should be. The Academy is now the largest public Platinum-rated (the highest rating possible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in the world. Amazing!! It contains multiple venues, including the aquarium, the planetarium, the natural history museum and the 4-story rainforest. In addition, there's a 3D theater, a lecture hall, a Naturalist Center, two restaurants, an adjacent garden and aviary, and a living roof terrace (which reminded me of Teletubbie land).
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I fell in love with the huge open Piazza, located smack in the middle, with doors leading in any direction you needed to go. We snacked and rested in the Piazza and ate at the Academy Cafe' - a modern, kid friendly restaurant that served a variety of cuisine made fresh, with healthy, seasonal and organic ingredients.
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FYI -the cafe offers delicious and healthy foods using sustainable ingredients. From the raw organic sugar used in the baked goods, to the sustainably farmed local vegetables prepared daily, to the organic, fair trade coffee, every effort is made to support local producers and promote environmentally responsible farming. Even the packaging and utensils are compostable and/or recyclable. Once again - amazing!!
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We had a wonderful time and spent over 5 hours roaming around happily, and the next day we even managed to wake up before the Easter Bunny arrived. ;)
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More Eco Info About The Building:
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Produces 50 percent less wastewater than previously
Recycles rainwater for irrigation
Uses 60,000 photovoltaic cells
Supports a green roof with an area of 2.5 acres (1.0 ha)
Uses natural lighting in 90 percent of occupied spaces
Was constructed of over 20,000 cubic yards (15,000 m3) of recycled concrete
Construction includes 11 million pounds (5,000 t) of recycled steel
Wall insulation made from scraps of recycled denim
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(Above Photos Are Copyrighted to Sabina DeShazo)

2 comments:

Punctuation Mark said...

I saw a TV special about the design of this museum and ever since i've been wanting to go... definitely this summer when I visit the city... have a lovely day and I want to invite you to participate on my latest giveaway

Megan Walker said...

I still have fond memories of taking my boys to the old museum when they were young. I've been anticipating the reopening of the new museum. I haven't been there yet, but my husband had the opportunity to go and said it was simply AMAZING! Can't wait for my turn! Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time - how FUN! :)

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