The Enterprise Has Landed, Camping Out Until New Building Completed

East
Friday, July 20, 2012
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The Intrepid's bulbous temporary addition as seen from the river.

The Intrepid's bulbous temporary addition as seen from the river. (AN/Stoelker)

The U.S.S. Intrepid looks visibly pregnant, and it seems as though she still hopes to give birth to an offshoot of the museum in a parking lot directly across the street. About nine months ago, New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum revealed that it had its eye on a prime parcel owned by New York State adjacent to the museum on 12th Avenue to house its newest attraction, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Most of the recent attention on the shuttle has focused on the herculean effort to get it onto the deck, where it rests in a temporary pavilion that sits on the bow looking like a bulbous balloon about to burst. A spokesperson for City Planning said that the city’s zoning laws extend out to piers but requirements for permanently docked structures are a bit nebulous.

The nose of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. (AN/Stoelker)

The nose of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. (AN/Stoelker)

In an interview, museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner said that the goal remains to get the Shuttle onto dry land. She was quick to note that the renderings on display in the temporary pavilion were merely a concept for the new building, not a final design. The display is part of a fund raising effort for the new complex called “Sponsor a Star.”

The state owned parking lot where the museum hopes to expand as seen from the ship's stern.

As seen from the ship's stern, a pedestrian bridge spans 12th Avenue to the state owned parking lot where the museum hopes to expand .

The master plan calls for a permanent home with all of the amenities required of a cultural institution today, including classrooms, an auditorium, retail, and a café. It would also become the entry point to process the expected one million visitors each year. The lot is already connected to the museum by a pedestrian bridge that spans 12th Avenue.

A concept rendering on display introduces the fundraising effort for the building.

A concept rendering on display introduces the "Sponsor a Star" fundraising effort for the new building.

Marenoff-Zausner said that Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate services company, is conducting a feasibility study based in part on the interest generated by the new star attraction over the next year. Asked about about the project’s feasibility, the museum president said, “The State has been wonderful.”

The new pavilion as seen on deck.

The new pavilion as seen on deck.

The shuttle's tail protrudes up into the pavilion.

The shuttle's tail protrudes up into the tent.

The nose from below.

The nose from below.

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