$1.5 Million to Help Restore Ford Island Control Tower in Pearl Harbor

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The museum’s SBD Dauntless right in front of the partially restored control tower. (Photo by Pacific Aviation Museum)

PRESS RELEASE – Honolulu, Hawaii—The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s efforts to restore and open the historic structures located on Ford Island, in the middle of Pearl Harbor, were given a boost this week. The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust announced a $1.5 million grant for interior restoration of the iconic Ford Island Control Tower Operations Building. The two hangars (Hangars 37 and 79) and the Control Tower stewarded by Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are part of a National Historic Landmark site, as America’s first aviation battlefield. The scars of WWII and the “date that will live in infamy” are still present; windows riddled with bullets fired on that historic day remain as they were. Bomb craters and strafing marks can be seen throughout the site, reminding all who visit that they are standing on hallowed ground.

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A picture of the tower before the restoration started. (Photo by Pacific Aviation Museum)

George Weaver, a trustee of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust and principal in the firm NAI Rauch Weaver Norfleet Kurtz & Co. located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stated, “The Buehler Trust is proud and honored to help restore the Ford Island Control Tower, a national symbol of freedom. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a place to educate and pass on the legacy of those who rose to the occasion, served our country, and helped preserve the American way. It is important to our country and the world that we remember, honor, and promote understanding.” The Emil Buehler Trust donation will support the build out of the Museum’s library and archival storage, making it possible to relocate historic items currently secured in storage containers, which prohibit public viewing. It will also create public and educational spaces, and offices to support Museum operations. The mission of The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust is to provide funding to institutions, organizations and foundations that carry forward the research and development of new and improved aircraft and promote the field of aviation science and technology.

Ken DeHoff, Executive Director of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor stated, “The gift from the Buehler Trust, combined with the recent $550,000 State of Hawaii Grants in Aid allocation and a $100,000 grant from The Freeman Foundation, gives us great confidence that the Ford Island Control Tower complex will be completed in time to allow public access by the December, 2016 commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.” According to Admiral R. J. “Zap” Zlatoper, “All that remains to complete the project are the restoration of the elevator to ensure public access and repair and replacement of the exterior windows and doors to secure the building. We are very close to providing the public access to all levels of the Tower.”

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Beautiful panorama shot of the tower and the museum’s SBD Dauntless.

For information on the project or to make a donation to support Museum Restoration and Education efforts, please visit PacificAviationMuseum.org, call 808-445-9069, or email Development@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

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