The “Save The Bomber Plant” Campaing

Save the Bomber Plant is getting a great response – 1,200+ contributors from across the US and Canada.  More than $4.9 million already mobilized leaving a little more than $3 million still to be raised.
Save the Bomber Plant is getting a great response – 1,200+ contributors from across the US and Canada. More than $4.9 million already mobilized leaving a little more than $3 million still to be raised.

SAVE A PIECE OF HISTORY

The Yankee Air Museum and the Michigan Aerospace Foundation are partnering with Ypsilanti Township, the RACER Trust and Wayne County Airport Authority to create a new campus home for the Museum on the west side of Willow Run Airport. This is a great opportunity to both obtain an exciting new home for the Yankee Air Museum and preserve a significant portion of the historic World War II Willow Run Bomber Plant. A conceptual drawing appears at right.

A brand new Consolidated B-24 right after the last stage of the assembly line.
A brand new Consolidated B-24 right after the last stage of the assembly line.

The Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant was a key part of the World War II Arsenal of Democracy. It is the place where more than 40,000 workers from across America came together to build more than 8,700 B-24 Liberator Bombers. But, Willow Run was more than just a factory; it played an enormous role in changing our society. People moved north and from rural areas to work at the plant. Women, minorities and other groups historically excluded from the best jobs entered the industrial workforce through Willow Run. In fact, one of the most famous “Rosie the Riveters,” Rose Will Monroe, formerly of Pulaski, KY, worked at Willow Run. The plant also changed how we make things and Willow Run was the first large scale application of what we now call “just-in-time” manufacturing.

The flyable aircraft and associated maintenance and restoration activities are the Museum’s most compelling and educational exhibits. Reuniting them with the on ground exhibits and programs will recreate the energy and excitement of the original (pre-2004, pre-fire) Yankee Air Museum. A new home in the Bomber Plant will also allow the Museum to realize its full potential with enough space to accommodate growth for years to come.

The proposed layout of the new museum.
The proposed layout of the new museum.

A MORE EXCITING MUSEUM!

A site in the Bomber Plant supports a broader, more inclusive Museum storyline. Through historical interpretation, it offers unsurpassed learning opportunities for children, youth and adults on the changing American workforce, on “just-in-time” manufacturing and how World War II war production changed and accelerated the economic and social development of this region.A site in the former Bomber Plant also gives the museum the space needed to fully integrate STEM content, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into the visitor experience and educational offerings. These new exhibits use the excitement of flight to generate interest in the underlying science and technology and to inspire young people to pursue opportunities in those fields.

An architectural rendering of how the museum could possibly look like.
An architectural rendering of how the museum could possibly look like.

Preserving a portion of the Bomber Plant to become the new home of the museum provides an exciting first project to help stimulate new, future-oriented redevelopment at Willow Run. It will also create a compelling, large new venue for corporate, family and community events with capacity for 1,000 or more. The new facility will also build upon the Bomber Plant’s role in the “Arsenal of Democracy” to create a place at which to recognize Michigan’s continuing role in the aerospace and defense industries.

This is also a “green” project that saves resources and energy (not to mention money) by reusing a portion of an existing building and infrastructure at the site to create a new educational and community asset. Further, it does that without adding hardscape worsening this region’s storm water runoff challenge.

ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN. THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP.

The SaveTheBomberPlant.org campaign is a broad-based effort aimed at mobilizing the whole community to preserve a portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant to become the new home of the Yankee Air Museum. This effort, however, is part of a larger campaign, co-chaired by retired astronaut Jack Lousma and automotive industry leader Bob Lutz that is also raising funds to build out and create exhibits to go into the museum’s new home.

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What happens if they don’t raise enough money ?
In that event, gifts to this campaign will be put toward a hangar for the flyable historic aircraft at the Museum’s current home.

What if I only want to give if the Museum will be moving to the Bomber Plant?
In that case, it might be more appropriate for you to make a pledge rather than an outright gift. If the Museum does not sign a purchase agreement for part of the Bomber Plant, you would then be under no obligation to pay this pledge. If you are interested in pledging rather than giving, contact the SaveTheBomberPlant.org team at: info@savethebomberplant.org or telephone (734) 483-4030, extension 222.

What happens after the SaveTheBomberPlant.org campaign?
If they meet the current fundraising goal, they will have preserved a portion of the Bomber Plant to someday become the new home of the Yankee Air Museum. In short, they will own a big historic box inside of which to create the new museum and would still need to raise a great deal of money for the exterior and interior construction needed to turn this 70-year old former factory into a fully functional museum.

The SaveTheBomberPlant.org campaign has been organized by the Michigan Aerospace Foundation to preserve a portion of the Willow Run Bomber Plant as the new home of the Yankee Air Museum.

CONTACTS
Save The Bomber Plant.org
c/o Michigan Aerospace Foundation PO Box 8282
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
Telephone: (734) 483 – 4030, ext. 222 Email:

General questions: info@savethebomberplant.org
Questions specifically about giving: giving@savethebomberplant.org
Dennis Norton, President Michigan Aerospace Foundation: dennis@michiganaerospace.org
Michael Montgomery is the Foundation’s fundraising consultant: mike@michiganaerospace.org

DONOR RECOGNITION
The Michigan Aerospace Foundation and Yankee Air Force are committed to publicly thanking and honoring the generous people and organizations that support our work. To that end, all donors not requesting anonymity will be recognized on an online donor “honor roll.” For larger gifts, some truly extraordinary giving and recognition opportunities have been created, ranging from a listing on a permanent donor wall at the Museum to opportunities to name programs, galleries or the new facility itself. For more information on specific giving and sponsorship opportunities, contact the SaveTheBomberPlant.org team at info@savethebomberplant.org

Click on the banner below to help Save The Bomber Plant!

 

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  1. The Yankee Air Museum is trying to save part of the Willow Run Bomber Plant to become their new home.

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