The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Continues Expanding with Phase Two of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Five years after its opening, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is expanding. Plans are underway to open Phase Two of the center by 2011. This addition will allow the museum to house its restoration, preservation and archives under one roof. The center’s two hangars are filling rapidly, with 158 large aircraft, 153 large space artifacts and thousands of small artifacts on display. With more than a million visitors a year, the center is among the world’s most popular aviation museums, second only to the flagship building on the National Mall.
“By the fifth anniversary of the Udvar-Hazy Center, we will be on our way with construction of Phase Two, a wing that will allow us to focus on the collection itself, the core of our museum,” Museum Director Gen. John R. “Jack” Dailey said. “The new modern facilities will provide a unique opportunity for visitors to have a firsthand look at the process of restoring aircraft and spacecraft.”
The Smithsonian’s flight collection is the largest and most significant of its kind, with some 60,000 artifacts, including many of history’s most rare and iconic artifacts. Fully one-third of the aircraft in the aeronautics collection are one-of-a-kind examples.
There will be five separate facilities in the Phase Two development:
- Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar: spacious enough to accommodate several aircraft at one time with a second-floor viewing area designed to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at work rarely seen by the public.
- Archives: the foremost collection of documentary records of the history, science and technology of aeronautics and space flight will be housed in a single location for the first time, providing researchers with ample space and equipment.
- Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory: will provide conservators much-needed space to develop and execute specialized preservation strategies for artifacts.
- Collections Processing Unit: a dedicated loading dock and specially designed secure area for initial inspection and analysis of artifacts.
- Collections Storage Facility: a state-of-the-art environmentally conditioned storage space for small items.
The National Air and Space Museum is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $12 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
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