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The Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks

Situated among 42-foot tall birch trees and a three-acre pond in Adirondack Park — the largest park in the lower 48 states — the Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks is a testament to how buildings and nature can be complementary.




Situated among 42-foot tall birch trees and a three-acre pond in Adirondack Park — the largest park in the lower 48 states — the Wild Center/Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks is a testament to how buildings and nature can be complementary.

The 54,000-square-foot, LEED Silver-certified facility is actually a cluster of three interconnected buildings that lead visitors through a series of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Visitors at the Wild Center are treated to walking trails, naturalist guides, movies and live exhibits that include more than 900 animals.

The building was designed with every consideration of how it could interact with its natural surroundings. For example, stormwater from the roof is collected and channeled into a pond and composting toilets.

Materials used in the building are indigenous to the Adirondacks, including the white pine exterior siding and Red Garnet and Champlain stone. Local manufacturers supplied the metal roofing, concrete and structural steel.

The facility gets about 10 percent of its power from a 40 kW photovoltaic array. The rest is generated by Niagara Falls, so 100 percent of the power comes from renewable sources.


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