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#1 RD Milhollin

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE(Sam Stone @ Apr 13 2005, 09:17 AM) View Post

Here's another fantasy project for ya:

An Aviation Museum. FW has all sorts of connections to aviation: AA, GD, Lockheed Martin, Bell Textron, Carswell, SAC, etc. Then there's that story about that bomber--what was it, a B36?--they were trying to find a home for it. Anyway, imagine an aviation museum in the Cultural District that has all the different planes that were manufactured in FW, sort of a local version of the Air and Space Museum. Get some famous modernist/pomo architect to design it, and voila, another great destination/cultural institution. It would definitely get a lot of traffic from within the metroplex--think of all the suburbanites with kids from here to Frisco. Then, once they're here, they check out the other museums, buy lunch, spend some money, it becomes a regular stop on the school field trip circuit. The CD has plenty of room, even with the future arena + parking.
(pulled from another forum section)

This idea has cropped up on several threads not dedicated to the proposition of an aviation museum. This idea has been batted around for awhile, and two or three organizations actually formed to investigate the potential, but it looks like they sort of ended up stepping on each other's toes and fighting each other rather than uniting to get the job done. This is a long past-due development for Fort Worth, I hope the museum people can help them get it together.

http://www.star-tele...ory/292284.html

Posted on Mon, Nov. 05, 2007 City tries to get aviation museum effort off ground
By CHRIS VAUGHN
Star-Telegram staff writer
FORT WORTH -- After years of fits and fizzles by nonprofits to build an aviation museum in Fort Worth, the city is trying to resurrect the prospect by enlisting the help of the director of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to jump-start an exploratory committee.

Van Romans, an internationally known museum consultant and designer, has agreed to assemble local and national museum experts to work with the city's aviation-related groups, which have largely worked separately on the effort since the early 1990s.

"Most of the [aviation supporters] are veterans, and I'm a Vietnam vet, so there is a natural bond," said Romans, who served in the Navy. "I'm willing to help them any way I can."

The lack of a military aviation museum in Fort Worth -- while Addison, Dallas and Galveston, for example, have them -- has long been a source of frustration among defense and military retirees, who argue that aviation is as central to Fort Worth's development as cattle and railroads.

Twice they have been embarrassed when the Air Force took airplanes planned for a local museum -- the B-58 Hustler and the B-36 Peacemaker, both made in the west side "bomber plant" -- and gave them to other cities.

"Our disappointment is that nobody has seemed to care," said Clyde Picht, a former councilman and president of the B-36 Peacemaker Museum. "We've capitalized on cattle to the nth degree. But when you look at the economic impact of cattle versus aviation here, there's hardly any comparison."

The Fort Worth Aviation Heritage Association and a splinter group, the B-36 Peacemaker Museum, have failed in their efforts to build a museum. The OV-10 Bronco Association has been aggressively adding airplanes to its museum near Meacham Airport, but it is hamstrung by a lack of visibility and money.

"We've got a lot of guys dedicated to aviation, but they're not museum guys," said Tom Higgins, the city's acting aviation director. "They've been trying to run with this, and it continues to stall."

Higgins and Romans hope to put together a committee of museum professionals and aviation supporters by December that could begin looking at broad issues of location, cost, size and fundraising.

Higgins said it is possible that the city would contribute financially to a museum, if private and corporate backers found a plan they liked. But the effort must be unified and well-thought out, he said.

"They understand that individually they have not been able to do this," Higgins said of the aviation groups. "So we may be going in a direction now that can produce some results. But it's not going to happen fast."

But Romans cautioned city leaders that he cannot afford to spend lots of time on the effort because the Museum of Science and History is in the middle of a $60 million capital campaign and a huge construction project.

"I made a commitment for a couple of meetings to help it come together," Romans said. "I'm very supportive of the folks who would like to build an aviation museum, but I would hope the community would realize that my focus is on the science and history museum."

CHRIS VAUGHN, 817-390-7547
cvaughn@star-telegram.com


#2 RD Milhollin

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 08:32 AM

The Editorial Page has caught a whiff of the Aviation Museum idea. This is a project that needs to be looked into ASAP, although Van Romans probably has his days pretty full with the demolition and rebuilding of his museum underway. The various existing Aviation Heritage-based organizations should close ranks and unite into one group and start getting pledges from the various local industries so that plans can be drawn up and this idea can "get off the ground" once the Science and History Museum Project is completed.

http://www.star-tele...ory/308678.html

Posted on Sun, Nov. 18, 2007 An aviation museum: Could this idea take off?
Star-Telegram

Star-Telegram archives
B-24 Liberator bombers move through the Convair plant in Fort Worth in 1943. The Fort Worth Herd, the city's colorful band of longhorns, has brought international media attention to Cowtown and highlighted the city's historic connection to the cattle industry.

So how about creating something special to commemorate and dramatize the rich, nearly century-long relationship that Fort Worth and Tarrant County have had with another industry -- aviation -- that has been even more important to the local economy, as well as a cog in national defense?

How about creating a first-class, high-profile aviation heritage museum?

It could be a stimulating source of entertainment, education and inspiration focused on the men, women and flying machines that have been a significant part of our history ever since 1917, when three airfields were established in the Fort Worth area to train U.S., British and Canadian pilots and ground crews in World War I.

After years of talk about forming a substantial aviation heritage museum, the idea is gaining renewed momentum. Fort Worth City Council members informally endorsed the idea at an Oct. 16 meeting at which former Councilman Clyde Picht, president of the local B-36 Peacemaker Museum, urged greater recognition of the area's aviation heritage.

Van Romans, the director of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and a well-known museum consultant, has agreed to work with aviation-related groups to explore the establishment of a museum.

The Fort Worth Aviation Heritage Association and the B-36 museum have been unsuccessful in previous efforts. The OV-10 Bronco Association has added airplanes to its museum near Meacham Airport but has lacked visibility and funding.

Establishing a full-fledged aviation museum won't be easy. There are the obvious questions of where the money would come from, where the museum would be located and what its main areas of focus would be.

There should be a substantial base of community support, given the major aviation-related employers such as American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and numerous other municipal airports. Retirees from local aviation-related employers and the military also would be likely supporters.

Visitors to an aviation heritage museum could learn Fort Worth's role as a way stop for huge airships of the 1920s that moored near a local helium plant to refill their gas bags and take on fresh supplies; Charles Lindbergh's dramatic visit here in 1927 after his history-making solo trans-Atlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis; the creation of the gigantic "bomber plant" that produced the B-24 Liberator in World War II and today, as Lockheed Martin, is building advanced jet fighters; and the construction and steady expansion of D/FW Airport into one of the world's busiest commercial aviation hubs.

The museum could house everything from real airplanes to historic photographs and interactive exhibits that tell the long, proud history of aviation here.

With some inspiration, imagination, perspiration and cash generation, Fort Worth and Tarrant County could finally establish the type of first-class aviation heritage museum that has been talked about for years.

How about it?


#3 AndyN

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:11 AM

OK, So I am perusing today's City Council and I run across this item:

26. M&C C-22878 - Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Lord Cultural Resources for the Completion of Phase Two and Phase Three of an Aviation Museum Strategic Plan in the Amount of $158,850


Does this mean the city is putting some $$ behind the aviation museum proposal?
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#4 Dismuke

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (Sam Stone @ Apr 13 2005, 09:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Get some famous modernist/pomo architect to design it, and voila, another great destination/cultural institution.



I have a better idea. If such a museum comes about and puts up a new building, have the entrance/office/non-hanger area be a recreation of that really neat art deco terminal building that once existed at Meacham. And perhaps for some of the other portions of the facility and/or the interior, attempt to incorporate elements inspired by the old Aviation Building. That would be fit in with the theme of the area's aviation history. The terminal's old control tower would be a great observation area. And I guarantee you that an art deco building would in and of itself be something that would be much more likely to draw in interested tourists and become a destination than some modernist thing. And it would enable people such as myself who never saw either building to experience at least part of what we were cheated out of seeing by the wrecking ball. And compared with certain other art deco buildings, the old Meacham terminal was very understated and simple, probably as a result of being built during the Depression when money was tight. Thus it would be able to have the one advantage that modernist buildings have - it would be cheap. Yet unlike most modernist buildings, it wouldn't look cheap.

http://www.b-36peace...hamTerminal.jpg

http://www.fortworth...einmeacham2.jpg

http://www.fortworth...teinmeacham.jpg

http://www.fortworth...eachamfield.jpg


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#5 Fort Worthology

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 10:13 AM

I agree with Dismuke. Any aviation museum would do well to recreate the old Meacham terminal. It was a gorgeous building even though it was fairly simple (it was of the Streamline Moderne school).

I would gladly take that over some misshapen glass dodecahedron, or a melted metal disaster, or a nightmare collection of titanium blades, or whatever other things come to mind when we start talking modernism.

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#6 RD Milhollin

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:43 PM

QUOTE (Atomic Glee @ Jun 17 2008, 10:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with Dismuke. Any aviation museum would do well to recreate the old Meacham terminal. It was a gorgeous building even though it was fairly simple (it was of the Streamline Moderne school).


I also agree. The Meacham Terminal was a beautiful building exterior. I would also like to see some attempt at representing the look of the interior of the Amon Carter Field/Greater Southwest Terminal. I wonder if any of the original artwork from the lobby or dining room is still around in some collection?

http://members.tripo..._FtWorth_NE.htm

#7 Dismuke

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 12:43 AM

QUOTE (Prairie Pup @ Jun 18 2008, 11:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would also like to see some attempt at representing the look of the interior of the Amon Carter Field/Greater Southwest Terminal. I wonder if any of the original artwork from the lobby or dining room is still around in some collection?

http://members.tripo..._FtWorth_NE.htm



Wow. That interior was very impressive for a building built in the early 1950s - a period when everything typically started going very much in the direction of bland, sterile and ugly. I agree - if such a museum is built, that interior definitely ought to be recreated.

Also, observe on the map at the very top of the website that was linked to is an arrow pointing to the old radio tower and transmitter facility for the 820 frequency back when it was shared by both WBAP and WFAA (each of which, for many decades, used the 570 frequency when the other was broadcasting on the stronger, clear channel 820). The tower and the transmitter which dated back to the 1930s were demolished in the early 1970s for the construction of D/FW airport. A few years back I posted some photos of it and some background information in this thread.
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#8 RD Milhollin

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

The B-36 Peacemaker Museum is apparently gaining some respect. They have acquired a mockup for an early stealth fighter being developed at the Fort Worth General Dynamics facility, now Lockheed-Martin. The plane turned some heads when it was transported across town on the freeways (see photos in article); it was sitting in a field at the L-M facility for several years before being given to the aviation museum located in the southeast corner of Meacham Airport and accessible from Main Street via 35th Street. My guess would be that such museums in this area have a way to go in gaining credibility after the sorry shape the former Pate Museum near Cresson allowed loaned aircraft to deteriorate to.  Also, I can't understand why there are two separate aviation museums located in the same general area, competing against one another rather than combining forces for a larger, more comprehensive collection and a better facility to house the old warbirds. Too many type A personalities perhaps...

 

http://www.star-tele...s-aviation.html



#9 Austin55

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 01:44 AM

I've often wondered about the Aviation Wall of Honor that sits hidden away against a back wall in downtown's General Worth Square. The wall has a small plaque near the bottom that reads "This wall of honor will be on permanent display in the aviation heritage museum when built". So, I'm wondering when that will be built. I've never heard anything about it, outside the wall. The wall has a number that you can call to "learn more", but I can't make it out in any of the pictures I have. Next time I am over there, I will call it. 

 

Meacham has two nice museum right now (Vintage Flying museum and the Fort Worth Aviation Museum). The FWAM is basically a cinder block building and some planes in a field, and the VFA is mostly just an operating hanger. I know neither of the museums has the funds to do so, but it'd be amazing to see them consolidate into a single complex. Preferably indoors, and more comparable to something like C.R. Smith or the Frontiers of Flight museums elsewhere nearby. 

 

Would be AMAZING to have maybe a P.B.Y. Catalina and our old B-36 (No. 52-2827), and the "Cowtown Hustler" B-58 here on display, however doubtful or impossible that may be. As they retire more and more of them, it'd be nice to see a collection of locally made F-16's as well. 



#10 Austin55

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 04:47 PM

GFF Architects has a page on their website with several concepts for a museum on the southeast side of Meacham which are worth a look. The project is listed under the "On the boards" section of the website and is worth a look. Perhaps an upgrade to the current facilities is in the pipeline.

 

 

http://gff.com/proje...viation-museum/



#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 09:29 PM

Austin, you are correct.  The museum is working on an upgrade to their facilities.  However, like most non-profits, fundraising is in order.



#12 Austin55

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 11:14 AM

I spoke with Jim Hodgson, executive director of the FW aviation museum. Evidently, a fundraising campaign for a new or expanded facilities will begin later in the year.






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