I dropped by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) last Wednesday. It's free from 4:30 p.m. until closing (5:30 p.m.) that day. I know one hour isn't much time to look around, but I was only interested in seeing one thing. It wasn't any of the exhibits there (which I've previously seen), but the recently built Michael Lee-Chin Crystal.
It officially opened on June 2, 2007. Michael Lee-Chin (#677 on the 2008 Forbes list of billionaires) donated $30 million towards the cost of the Daniel Libeskind-designed building. Mr. Libeskind got the initial idea for his design after being inspired by the ROM’s gem and mineral collection. It was dubbed the 'crystal' because of its crystalline shape.
It wasn't as open or airy as I imagined it would be. Instead it was divided into different floors in which the exhibits were displayed. The only truly floor-to-ceiling open space was in the central stairway. There were other areas where you could look over the main floor from upper levels too. But, the views were partially obstructed sometimes. I would have really liked to have seen the building before the exhibits were placed in it. Just to view the architectural elements on their own. It's too bad I missed that chance when the Crystal first opened. Boy, do I regret that.
Anyway, I scurried around for the one hour slot we were alloted trying to take as many photos of the Crystal as I could. I was hoping to piece together enough shots from the five different levels to give people a reasonably decent idea of what the building looked like inside and out. You can view the full slate of photos on my Flickr.com webpage if you want.