National Aviary logo
Go button
Become A Part of the NEW National Aviary
Ways to donate and help
Volunteer With Us - learn more - online shopping
Photo collage: National Aviary expansion designs

$18 Million Aviary Expansion

The  National Aviary successfully concluded its $18.5 million Taking Flight capital campaign, and is now in the midst of  the largest expansion and renovation project in its history. The sweeping makeover will revitalize the 56-year old facility, introduce new interactive programming venues, improve visitor amenities, and establish a stronger connection to surrounding Allegheny Commons park land.

The first phase of the project involved the opening of Penguin Point, an immensely popular new exhibit  which  debuted in May 2009.  A second new exhibit, the  Grasslands, is scheduled to  open- in March 2010.

The centerpiece of the project is the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater. Outfitted with high-definition video and sound, the National Aviary’s team of professional trainers will  present free-flight, indoor bird shows and educational programming year round. Audiences will be amazed by the live performances of some of the world’s most exotic and endangered birds. Imagine flashes of color as birds soar overhead, demonstrating natural behaviors that few of us will ever experience in the wild. The facility will be the nation’s first indoor educational theater to incorporate free-flight bird demonstrations designed to help educate visitors about the importance of wildlife, biodiversity and the preservation of natural habitats.

The Helen M.Schmidt FliteZone Theatre roof will be designed as an outdoor, open-air Sky Deck  will allow for falcon and bird-of-prey lure-flying demonstrations and special events.  The project completion date is fall 2010.

In addition to the new exhibits and theatre space, a public café, classrooms, and a welcoming main entrance facing Arch Street are planned, and will greatly improve accessibility and the Aviary’s ability to service school groups, tours, and individual visitors.

“The reinvigorated facility will not only be a cultural gem for the people and families of Pittsburgh to enjoy, it will also become a leading destination for out-of-town visitors, furthering the Aviary’s national status and commitment to excellence,” says National Aviary Board Chairman Mike Flinn.

For more information on program sponsorship opportunities,  please contact Jeanne Minnicks,  Director of Development  at 412-323-7235, ext. 437, or by email.

Logo links for the National Aviary, Regional Asset District and Association of Zoos and Aquariums

The National Aviary is supported in part through membership, donations, and funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
© 2009 National Aviary in Pittsburgh