The Intrepid Museum along the West Side Highway is more than just an enormous aircraft carrier ship docked to shore — the site’s complete title is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. This will soon be easier to remember as plans have recently been revealed for its giant corresponding Space Shuttle museum just blocks away. If approved, the Space Shuttle Enterprise Museum will be an educational and public programming center, literally built around the giant space shuttle.
The Enterprise shuttle is one of only 4 space shuttles donated to museums in the country. After acquiring the massive artifact this past April, the Intrepid Museum realized they were running tight on exhibition space. Susan Marenoff-Zausner, President of the museum, decided to feature the shuttle while improving the surrounding neighborhood by giving it its own space in Hell’s Kitchen. The board currently has their eye on an empty parking lot on West 46th street and the West Side Highway.
Plans reveal a spiraling glass and steel structure built to surround the intact shuttle. Plenty of open spaces allow for visibility, natural light, and ventilation. Marenoff-Zausner believes the non-profit museum will not only bring in 300,000 more visitors, generating nearly $150 million in revenue, but will also create over 1,000 new jobs!
The sparkling new Space Shuttle Enterprise Museum could begin to change the face of the often times criticized Hell’s Kitchen area by creating a fun and educational environment.
Image renderings via Jones Lang LaSalle