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[i]When New York made its pitch for one of NASA’s decommissioned space shuttles, one of its selling points was location: a glistening berth on the Hudson River alongside the aircraft carrier that is home to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
But five months after the Intrepid was awarded the shuttle Enterprise, museum officials have turned their attention from the end of the newly revamped pier to a parking lot on 12th Avenue, across the cacophonous West Side Highway. They envision converting the lot, which is surrounded by H & H Bagels, a car wash, storage warehouses and a strip club, into a space-themed museum that would serve as the home of the Enterprise and draw as many as one million visitors a year.
Aesthetics aside, the plan has several obstacles to clear. One problem is that the Intrepid does not own the parking lot; the State Department of Transportation does. Another is that the property, in Hell’s Kitchen, is zoned for manufacturing, not a museum. And perhaps the biggest hurdle is the many millions of dollars that would have to be raised to build this new home for the Enterprise, which was a prototype for the space shuttles but never flew into space.[/i]
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