Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas helped unveil the replacement terracotta eagle that was once perched atop the Beaux-Arts East Portico entrance of the Natural History Museum 89 years ago,
Damaged in an earthquake in June 1920, the historic six-foot adornment has been re-created using Museum archival records and a little artistic imagination. The new eagle is modernly reinforced to keep it perched above the historic structure for many years to come.
The installation of the new eagle was completed just in time for the 4th of July weekend, culminating more than two years of construction work and architectural preservation of the historic core of the Museum—the magnificent 1913 Building which is the centerpiece of a landmark $91 million institution-wide transformation.
“For almost 90 years, this 1913 historic building has been without the presence of a 6-foot eagle that was set atop its entrance in the early 1900’s,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “Today’s unveiling provides a symbolic finale for such a wonderful restoration project. You can say …. The eagle has landed!”
The Supervisor added that the newly crafted monumental piece has been “earthquake proofed,” with an internal steel armature throughout its wings.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County serves more than one million families and visitors annually, and is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education.
The Natural History Museum was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles to open its doors to the public in 1913, and has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history – more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The Natural History Museum is located at 900 Exposition Blvd, between Menlo Ave and Kinsey Ave. For more information call (213) 763-DINO or visit www.nhm.org.