de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, California Academy of Sciences gear up to reopen

The de Young Museum. | Photo: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr
By Camden Avery - Published on September 15, 2020.

Last week, San Francisco announced that indoor museums would be allowed to return on September 21, provided they had a safety plan in place.

Since then, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor) and the California Academy of Sciences have announced they will all reopen in the coming weeks, after being closed for more than six months.

The first of the trio to return will be the de Young, which will reopen to members on Tuesday, September 22 and to the public on Friday, September 25. Admission to the museum will be restricted to 25% of its normal capacity, with timed tickets now available online.

New safety protocols will include mandatory masks, six-foot distancing, guided flows for foot traffic, contactless payment, sanitizing stations, and the closure of high-contact areas like the coat check, tower observation deck, children's room and mural room. The gift shop will remain open.

FAMSF's other museum, the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is slated to reopen in mid-October, said FAMSF communications manager Shaquille Heath. It will operate under similar restrictions, with a phased members-to-public reopening window.

Both museums will offer free standard admission to essential workers through December of next year, and free admission every Saturday to residents of Bay Area counties.

The Legion of Honor is due to reopen in October. | Photo: Henrik Kam/FAMSF

Golden Gate Park's other key museum, the California Academy of Sciences, hasn't yet announced a firm reopening date. Representatives from the Cal Academy didn't respond to a request for comment, but the museum's website signals a plan to reopen sometime in October.

Expected safety measures for the Cal Academy's reopening will include reduced attendance, increased air ventilation, sanitation stations, more frequent cleaning, mandatory pre-entry health screening, and required advance purchase of tickets with reserved time slots. 

The Cal Academy is expecting to keep its planetarium, naturalist center and curiosity grove closed for the time being.

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