The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center building at Washington’s Dulles International Airport, the first phase of which opened in December 2003, represents the fulfillment of the Smithsonian Institution’s long-held ambition to build a specialist facility to house the National Air & Space Museum’s ever-growing collection of commercial aviation and space artifacts.
As early as the mid-1960s proponents of the NASM were suggesting that the newly built Washington Dulles Airport could meet the needs of the Smithsonian as the ideal location for the display and conservation of its huge aircraft collections held at its store in Suitland Maryland. In the end the Downtown site on the National Mall won the day, and in July 1976 one of the most popular museums in the world opened it doors, leaving many aircraft behind at a 21-acre Maryland site.
This copiously illustrated volume tells the story of the building of the new Hazy Center building. Beginning with the project’s earliest conception and planning in 1993, when the US Congress approved $8 million for the design the “Dulles Extension”, Lin Ezell – celebrated author of Out of Harm’s Way, Moving America’s Lighthouse (2001) – unfolds the story of the clearance of the site and the construction of the building designed by architects Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum. HOK remained true to the original concept a building that would meet the special needs of a large collection of air-and space craft, along with millions of visitors, but still fit the ambience of an airport. HOK’s solution was a dramatic yet incredibly elegant building, featuring a massive vaulted space, reminiscent of the old zeppelin hangars, to house 200 aircraft – a second “hangar” to house 135 space vehicles, together with specialist restoration facilities, research archives, an
education center and Imax movie theatre – some 760,000 square feet in all.
Employing a lively and accessible mix of running text, special-feature sidebars and stunning large-format ground, installation and aerial photographs, as well as plans, photomontages, and detailed “action” shots, the author brings to life the details of engineering and construction processes– such as the raising of the massive main hangar roof – and explores the challenges and demands faced by the project team, of which she was a key member.
Lin Ezell was program manager for the National Air and Space Museum’s (NASM) new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles International Airport. Prior to her appointment to lead the Dulles team, Ezell was assistant director for Collections Management at NASM and directed the activities of the Museum’s Paul Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Maryland from 1986 until 1996. She worked as an historian for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 10 years, from 1974 to 1984. While at NASA, she co-authored histories of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and the Viking Mars landing program. At NASA Headquarters, she wrote two reference volumes in the Historical Data Book series. Ezell is a faculty member in the historic preservation certificate program at the Loudoun County campus of Northern Virginia Community College and author of Out of Harm’s Way: Moving America’s Lighthouse (2001).
175 colour & b/w illustrations