Didn't Take Long at All For Perot Museum of Nature & Science to Make Its (Big, Big) Money

PerotMuseumKidsBalloonBox.JPG
Photo by Anna Merlan
Apparently, this is how you announce you've raised $185 million a year earlier than expected.
For days we've been promised a major announcement today from the Perot Museum of Nature & Science; as in, said the week's worth of press releases, "a MAJOR announcement" would be made this morning. And even though it wasn't exactly a secret by the time the press conference rolled around at 10:30, we're still glad we went -- if only for the DVD's worth of new renderings we received and the photo-op up top.

It seems like only a few months ago (because it was) that the Perot Museum of Nature & Science was announcing J.P. Morgan Chase would be handing them a giant check for $1 million bucks or so. At a press conference today that featured champagne, confetti and the aforementioned kids in a box of balloons, they announced that with the help of a $6 million gift from the Moody Foundation to help fund the Children's Museum, the under-construction museum on Woodall Rodgers has surpassed its $185-million building goal a full year ahead of schedule.

"We expect to see millions and millions of people through our doors over the coming decades," Nicole Small, CEO of the museum, told the crowd.

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A nighttime view of the museum, from the slide show you'll find right here
There was some talk about the Children's Museum and its great potential to inspire young minds, when suddenly a giant gift box onstage burst open, to reveal a furious hail of confetti and a dozen or so small children. The boys beamed and waved. The girls looked mildly concerned. They were given a hearty round of applause, then exited through a door in the back of the box. They wandered over to some tall arcs made out of balloons clustered near the stage. One little boy reached out towards one, then recoiled. The children were quickly corralled by their parents and disappeared.

Forrest Hoglund, chair of the museum's expansion campaign, announced that the project will be completed with "no debt," including no construction debt. As he spoke, another explosion of confetti covered the stage, and those balloons columns started to lurch forward; they were, as it turned out, people on stilts, looking for all the world like Nerds-covered tarantulas.

"We're over the top," the former Exxon and Enron exec told the crowd. "And we feel just great about it."

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13 comments
Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Looks like a Borg Cube (from Star Trek) to me.  “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated”

Topicalrain
Topicalrain

so they are, or are they, completely abandoning Fair Park?

Rangers100
Rangers100

They are not:

The current Fair Park facility will remain, and exciting plans for programs and space usage are being developed. Plans are also now underway to build a state-of-the-art museum in Victory Park to supplement the existing Fair Park location.

Lightsfantastic
Lightsfantastic

The current Nature Building will remain open and only the ground floor will still be as it was.  The upper floors will be converted to offices and expanded research facilities for the Paleontology department.  The Science Buildings (the old Science Place 1 and 2) will be vacated.  Going from 35000 square feet in three buildings to 180,000 square feet of exhibits in one.  As an added bonus the building will not be owned by the city of Dallas so when the AC breaks it will get fixed quickly instead of in a year or so.

nadadamnthang
nadadamnthang

I believe this is gonna be a real game changer!

MattL1
MattL1

Well, there are certainly worse ways than a museum to spend money, I suppose.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Our tax dollars at work, thanks to the bailout, the Fed discount window and the charitable deduction clause in IRS code, we can thank ourselves.

Mike
Mike

What does the discount window and bailout have to do with this story?  Because it mentioned Chase Bank?  Newsflash - they paid it back with interest and that bank does not use the discount window.  Give it a rest.  As for the charitable deduction, all these foundations are likely churning out donations like these to the Museum from interest earned off charitable contributions or estate moves to trusts of decades ago. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

The discount window loans money to banks.  Since the crash, and to this day, the Fed switched MBS for cash and treasuries, making them whole for paper we and the markets believe is suspect.  We've discounted lending for these too big to fail banks in several ways. 

The banks get to funnel their profits into this "charity" which happens to be free advertizing, and for that, these profits go untaxed. 

Anon
Anon

the taxpayers still aren't being compensated for the risk they are taking. that's, by definition, why the banks are not looking for funding in the private market

Mike111112
Mike111112

The discount window can loan to banks. It rarely does.  It may have done in in the immediate period around Lehman, but is not normally.  The MBS held by the Fed have to make the required cash payments or they get flipped back.  The Fed is getting 100% of the payments outlined in the original issue of the security.  The Fed holding them removes them from the lunacy of frantic and inappropriate mark to market discussions, but the taxpayers are not losing one dime in the process. 

Anon
Anon

guilt payments for rent seekers

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