Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The National Aviary on the North Side says it is ready to start work on a $23 million expansion. The focal point will be a new free flight theater which board chair Mike Finn describes as a “reverse theater in the round” with stages all along the walls and people sitting in the center. Birds will walk and fly from stage to stage and wall sized video screens will help transport visitors to the bird’s natural habitats. Most of the current space will be kept as it is with the additions being added around the perimeter. There will also be a free flight theater on the roof where birds of prey will fly through the park in search of a meal. Ground is to be broken in the spring with completion expected in June of 2010. About half of the money for the project has been raised. The public fundraising phase will begin soon and more foundation, corporate and state funding is being sought.