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Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

1945 SE Water Avenue
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, 97214

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Photo: M.O. Stevens License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a science and technology museum. It contains three auditoriums, including a large-screen theatre, planetarium, and exhibition halls.
Beginning in 1903, odd artifacts were displayed in hallways and alcoves in Portland City Hall arranged by Colonel L. L. Hawkins. When the collection was evicted in 1936, about 12,000 artifacts were stored throughout the city.

On November 5, 1944, the Oregon Museum Foundation was founded with the mission of establishing an Oregon Museum of History, Science, and Industry. It displayed its first collection of natural history objects at the Portland Hotel. By 1955, OMSI's annual attendance had grown to 25,000. The need for expansion led to volunteers building a new site at Washington Park, completing the original goal of a hands-on museum.

By the mid-1980s, 600,000 people per year were visiting the building, which was designed for only 100,000. Expansion at the Washington Park site was deemed infeasible, and in 1986 it was announced that the museum would move to a new location on the east bank of the Willamette River. OMSI opened at the new site, which continues to be the current location. OMSI has five different specialized exhibit halls, a planetarium, and a submarine exhibit.

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