North view of the new Bell Museum

New Museum

Preserving & celebrating Minnesota since 1872

Members of the media: Contact Andria Waclawski (612-624-7389, andria@umn.edu) with questions and interview requests.

Coming in summer 2018 to the St. Paul campus, the new Bell Museum brings together science, art, and the environment with a unique Minnesota perspective. Our new home features a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits, our famous wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences and more.

The new facility is expected to triple the number of annual visitors—and we hope you’re one of them. If you love to explore and discover, you’ll love the Bell Museum more than ever before!

Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium

Our state-of-the-art planetarium takes you on amazing journeys from the far reaches of the cosmos to deep inside the human brain. Using the latest technology to construct a “seamless” dome, our planetarium is the first of its kind in the United States!

Exhibit Galleries

The permanent galleries—which include our world renowned wildlife dioramas—span space and time, from the origins of the universe, through the diversification of life on Earth, to Minnesota’s own unique habitats. Also, learn about U of M researchers who are working to create a better future for our evolving world.

Touch & See Lab

The Bell Museum created the first natural history museum discovery room in the world, and we are proud to carry that tradition on in the new Touch & See Lab where all ages can actively learn through observation and sensory engagement.

Learning Landscape

The learning continues outside with a second floor green roof and observation deck, and sustainable landscaping with native plants, geology exploration area, solar station, and other highlights on the ground floor.


Project Details

Groundbreaking: Earth Day, April 22, 2016
Construction Complete: Summer 2017
Exhibit Installation: Summer 2017-Summer 2018
New Building Open: Summer 2018

Total Project Budget: $79M (appx)
Gross Square Footage: 92,000 (appx)
Architect: Perkins+Will, Minneapolis
Construction: McGough, Minneapolis
Exhibit Designers: Gallagher & Associates, Maryland