Sam Clegg experiments with the Bicycle Wheel Gyro at the Exploratorium After Dark program on Thursday night, November 5, 2009.
San Francisco's Exploratorium science museum has received two anonymous donations totaling $90 million to help it move to a new home on the City's waterfront.
The gifts, the largest commitment to the museum since it was founded in 1969, come from prominent members of the San Francisco Bay area's high-tech industry. The donations come with the condition that the Exploratorium will raise an additional $40 million from other donors, museum officials said.
The money will be used to renovate Pier 15, where the museum plans to move from its current location inside the Palace of Fine Arts. The museum also plans to occupy Pier 17 as part of its expansion plan.
Both piers are old and in disrepair: Pier 15 is 127,000 square feet and was built in 1931, while Pier 17 was built in 1912 and occupies 110,000 square feet. Officials estimated the piers will cost $175 million to repair.
The new museum at Pier 15 is not expected to open until 2013, museum spokeswoman Linda Dackman said. Work on Pier 17 will continue beyond that.