A life size sculpture of a magnificent carnivorous dinosaur appears to break out of the wall, leaving shattered masonry crumbling under her immense power as she makes her escape. That is what was unveiled today outside of the Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH), 53 N. Macdonald during a Free the Dinosaur event. A replica of the Acrocanthosaurus is an iconic image to greet museum visitors.
"Students from across the state come to the Arizona Museum of Natural History in downtown Mesa to explore the past," Mayor John Giles said. "The new dinosaur bursting from the building is a great photo op for our visitors to commemorate their time here. I'm sure she'll be a regular on social media feeds."
With lighting and landscaping, the dinosaur facade will attract new visitors to the museum, which has attracted more than three million since 1990. The facade, high on the wall and widely visible, will serve as a magnet for audiences to visit the museum's natural history exhibitions and programs.
"The Arizona Museum of Natural History has played an important role in downtown Mesa for decades. It deserves an iconic feature that cements the museum's status as a landmark for our city and I think this dinosaur is the perfect reflection of that," District 4 Councilmember Chris Glover said.
The Acrocanthosaurus roamed western North America 100 to 120 million years ago. The 38-foot long, 7-ton dinosaur was most certainly the apex predator on the landscape, striking fear in all animals it encountered.
AzMNH worked with Dimensional Innovations of Kansas City, Kansas to fabricate the animal to precise full-scale proportions and pose. Dimensional Innovations is one of the premier designers and manufacturers of dinosaurs in public spaces, such as the four-story Brachiosaurus at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
"It truly takes a village, or perhaps a city, to create a scientifically accurate life-size Acrocanthosaurus. There are so many people to thank, from our museum staff and volunteers to other City of Mesa employees, especially the Engineering Department, to Dimensional Innovations to our wonderful donors who have made this unique sculpture a reality," Arizona Museum of Natural History Director Tom Wilson said.
AzMNH has raised the $380,000 needed to complete the Free the Dinosaur project. But more donations are needed to maintain the dinosaur facade. You can help by visiting the museum's website www.azmnh.org and clicking on the blue "Donate Now" button.
Arizona Museum of Natural History
Contact: Alison Stoltman