New Mayborn Museum Complex To Open May 22
by Sarah Levine
After two years of construction and preparation, the new Mayborn Museum Complex will open its doors to the public on May 22. Designed for the entire family, the complex on the Baylor University campus will bring together a wealth of experiential learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.
The Strecker Museum's natural history collection, previously housed in the Sid Richardson Science building at Baylor, and the Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center, formerly located in downtown Waco, will now be under one roof in the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, located at 1300 S. University Parks Dr. Joining the two popular attractions in the Mayborn Museum Complex is the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village, remaining on its site along the Brazos River and now an outdoor complement to the indoor "Texas Lifeways" exhibits. In addition, the museum complex is the new home of Baylor's department of museum studies, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Visitors also can enjoy the "Waco at the Crossroads of Texas" natural history exhibits. From their first step into "Cretaceous Sea," with its 28-foot-long model of a Pliosaur, to "Texas Lifeways," which includes a Waco Indian grass hut, a Norwegian rock house, a Comanche tipi and an early log cabin, visitors will come to understand what makes Waco the "Crossroads of Texas."
The interactive "Crossroads" journey, which will include traditional and walk-in dioramas as well as exploration stations, will guide visitors through the natural science and cultural history of Central Texas. Walk-in dioramas include a limestone cave, a Texas forest and the Waco Mammoth Experience. At the Waco mammoth exhibit, guests will walk on a see-through floor where they will see casts of the Columbian mammoth bones displayed exactly as they were unearthed at the Waco Mammoth Site, just five miles from the Baylor campus.
Seventeen themed Discovery Rooms will occupy two floors of one wing of the Jeanes Discovery Center. Providing visitors with hands-on activities, the rooms are designed to invigorate young imaginations and introduce them to the worlds of Vertebrates, Invertebrates, Communication, Health, Water and Bubbles, Energy, Optics, and Sound, among others. Parents as well as children will enjoy walking through a model of the human heart, "communicating" in hieroglyphics, playing a tune on the walk-on piano and trying their hand at reporting the TV news and weather.
Other aspects of the magnificent 143,000-square-foot building include:
Anding Traveling Exhibit Area
AT&T Orientation Station
Multiple-use SBC Theater with 185 tiered seats