Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM)'s annex at Washington Dulles International Airport in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County, Virginia, United States.

The 760,000 square feet facility was made possible by a $65 million gift in October 1999 to the Smithsonian Institution by Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, an immigrant from Hungary and co-founder of the International Lease Finance Corporation, an aircraft leasing corporation. NASM has always had more artifacts than could be displayed at the main museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Most of the collection had been stored, unavailable to visitors, at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Silver Hill, Prince George's County, Maryland. A substantial addition to the center encompassing restoration, conservation and collection-storage facilities is underway; once complete, restoration facilities and museum archives will be moved from their current location at the Garber facility to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Udvar-Hazy Center is the companion facility to the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Opened in 2003, its two huge hangars — the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar — display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the space shuttle Discovery. The Center also offers the Airbus IMAX Theater and the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower, which gives you a 360-degree bird's-eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area. 

The Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) is memorial established by the U.S. federal government which honors women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The memorial is located at the western end of Memorial Drive at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. The structure in which the memorial is housed was originally known as the Hemicycle, and built in 1932 to be a ceremonial entrance to the cemetery. It never served this purpose, and was in disrepair by 1986. Congress approved the WIMSA memorial in 1985, and the Hemicycle approved as the site for the memorial in 1988. An open design competition was won by New York architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. Their original design was leaked to the public, and caused significant controversy. Two years of fund-raising and design revision followed. A revised preliminary design was approved in July 1992, and the final design in March 1995. Ground was broken for the memorial in June 1995, and the structure dedicated on October 18, 1997.

The memorial is notable for its successful mixing of Neoclassical and Modern architecture. The memorial largely retained the Hemicycle, but added a widely praised skylight on the Hemicycle terrace that incorporates not only memorials to servicewomen but also acts as a transition to the memorial below. Construction of the memorial, however, generated a lawsuit when a nearby pylon (part of the gateway to the cemetery) was damaged. Raising funds to pay off the construction

Page 7 of 7