Exploratorium Prepares for Its Big Move

San Francisco’s renowned interactive science museum, the Exploratorium, will take up residence in a new building on the Embarcadero this spring, but it's already started moving some behind-the-scenes elements.

The biology laboratory where Exploratorium staff raises animals, plants and cells, for instance, is tucked mostly out of sight in the Palace of Fine Arts location, and it's already being packed up.

"This is our yucky old facility that we are be happy to be leaving," Caitlin Johnson, a living systems exhibits technician, said last week, as she prepared zebra fish for moving day. In the new building she and the other techs -- and the zebra fish -- will have a much larger lab, out in the open where visitors can see what they're doing.

"I'm really looking forward to the new facility," Johnson said. "I mean you'll see, it's just beautiful over there."

Johnson and other exhibit technicians tucked fish and tide pool animals into coolers for the move. Then they loaded them into rented cars and drove them over to their new home.

Still on the packing list are the Exploratorium’s big interactive exhibits.

The museum closes its doors at its current site January 2, and reopens at Pier Fifteen in mid-April.


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