The Aerospace Education Center: What if? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Aerospace Education Center: What if?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 6:41 AM

GOING, GOING: The vacant building will be demolished.
  • GOING, GOING: The vacant building will be demolished.

I note this morning an article in the Democrat-Gazette about an Airport Commission committee's approval of the demolition of the Aerospace Education Center, a museum and theater closed for almost four years.

What if?

What if the political fight over its location had been won by those who favored a River Market neighborhood location and the "critical mass" argument of plunking as many attractions as possible there. The presidential library, a Game and Fish Commission Nature Center, the River Market, the Museum of Discovery, the library, the Ron Robinson Theater and more are there now. Would the location, rather than the isolated spot beneath the airport flight path, have brought more visitors and revenue?

Just a thought.

The facility's parking lot has proved handy as a cell phone lot for people waiting for airplane arrivals at the nearby Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

The Arkansas Aviation Historical Society, in selling assets including the property and collections in 2011, took a $5.3 million loss. Its most recent tax statement, in 2012, shows assets of about $83,000, but the books are cleared of debt.

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