Niagara Aerospace Museum lands new home
After years of being bounced around from one facility to the next, the Niagara Aerospace Museum has a new home. YNN's Antoinette DelBel has more on the museum's new lease and plans for its future.
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WHEATFIELD, N.Y. - From downtown Niagara Falls to downtown Buffalo, and now Wheatfield - the Niagara Aerospace Museum has had its fair share of homes.
"Well, we've had a few ups and downs, but we're looking for a permanent home,” said Niagara Aerospace Museum Curator Paul Faltyn.
Wednesday night, the museum's board unanimously accepted a two-year lease to relocate the Niagara Aerospace Museum to an empty terminal at the Niagara Falls International Airport in Wheatfield.
"Being on the airport, of course is a logical place for an airplane museum,” said Faltyn. “It's going to give us a good opportunity to showcase our artifacts; we'll have more space than we've had in our previous locations."
"The building was vacant since we moved into our brand new terminal in Dec. 2009, so we wanted to find a purpose for the old terminal," said C. Douglas Hartmayer with the NFTA.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), which owns the old airport terminal, said the museum will be able to display its thousands of artifacts in roughly half of the building's space.
It's also a short walking distance from the existing terminal.
"When people are flying in and out of the brand new Niagara Falls International Airport, they can simply stop by, walk down the sidewalk, go on in and see the wonderful things," said Hartmayer.
"We've amassed a collection of over 100 years of artifacts - airplanes, helicopters, all the way up through the space age - from all of Western New York's history," said Faltyn.
And for the past year, the artifacts have been stored here at the former Bell Aircraft Plant in Wheatfield, but it's been closed to the public except by appointment.
Faltyn said he hopes their new home will be more permanent.
"What we're hoping to do is use this as a stepping stone to build a permanent home on the field," he said.
In the meantime, museum officials hope to reopen in the old terminal next May.