San Francisco: The new Exploratorium breaks ground

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— Courtesy Exploratorium
A rendering of the new Exploratorium at Pier 15

San Francisco's innovative hands-on science museum the Exploratorium will get a new home in 2013. Construction has just started on nine acres of waterfront at Pier 15 and 17, on the Embarcadero between the Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf.

The museum is known for its original educational programs and explore-for-yourself exhibits that explain science and technology. There's even a program where artists and scientists work together.

The new building will offer gorgeous bay views, not to mention twice as much exhibition space, a new restaurant, a glass observatory building, and two acres of outdoor space. The construction itself is a feat, involving the repair, replacement, and installation of pilings that extend 160 feet into the sea floor. The sustainable design also includes green elements, like a heating and cooling system that uses bay water.

In the meantime, you can still visit the Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street. admission $15, but free on the first Wednesday of the month.

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