Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Events & Happenings
  Florida Today: Space museum scrubbed?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Florida Today: Space museum scrubbed?
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-27-2006 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Florida Today:
quote:
In a few weeks, however, as unimaginable as it seems, the museum that displays the [John] Glenn-launch tape, as well as hundreds of other precious and personal items, is scheduled to shut down because the rent at the [Searstown] mall is too high.

The news that the [U.S. Space Walk of Fame] museum, which has only one salaried employee and relies on volunteers, may close as early as June has been known for months, but no financial help has come from private or public sources.


Read the full article here.

If you want to help save the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum, call 321-264-0434 or e-mail spacemuseumsales@cfl.rr.com

Also, Charlie Mars, president of the Space Walk of Fame Foundation, recommends citizens to "write your local legislators and members of Congress. Write them all."

More information about the museum and Foundation can be found on their website.

--

Personal plea: As a member of the Foundation's board of directors, but more importantly as a fan of the museum, I would urge all collectSPACE readers to take action. Write the Florida politicans, donate money if you can and spread the word. As a community, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on space artifacts. If a small percentage could go to the museum in the next weeks and months, it would make a real difference.

hinkler
Member

Posts: 430
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-27-2006 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How much is the rent for the museum?

How many members on CS?

If a number of us all donated a few dollars, would that cover the rent?

Al Hallonquist managed to raise $5,000 for the hurricane victims with a list of a few hundred people. Hopefully CS could do something similar.

Would some of the astros be interested in donating some signed photos to help keep the museum open?

Come on folks. We can make a difference here.

Regards, Ian from Oz

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-27-2006 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Searstown Mall is increasing the SWOFM's rent from $1500 to $5000 per month.

Gary7272
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 03-27-2006 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gary7272   Click Here to Email Gary7272     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe an astronut who just made a lot of money selling a NASA owed (you and me) artifact at action will come forward to bail them out?

LT Scott Schneeweis
unregistered
posted 03-27-2006 02:56 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hinkler:
How much is the rent for the museum?

How many members on CS?

If a number of us all donated a few dollars, would that cover the rent?

Al Hallonquist managed to raise $5,000 for the hurricane victims with a list of a few hundred people. Hopefully CS could do something similar.

Would some of the astros be interested in donating some signed photos to help keep the museum open?


A noteworthy cause however they are dealing with a reoccurent monthly cost..the delta is $42,000 per year (assuming the museum continues to cover the initial 1500 per month charge)..

The museum may be better served by sourcing another location and reduce the fiscal overheaad...aside from my belief that it has an obligation to potential benefactors to locate to a facility which is economical..p perhaps they look at a low interest purchase and sink that rental money into some equitity?

------------------
Scott Schneeweis

URL http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-27-2006 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary7272:
Maybe an astronut who just made a lot of money selling a NASA owed (you and me) artifact at action will come forward to bail them out?
Many astronauts have supported the Space Walk of Fame through both financial and artifact donations. In addition, they have signed models and other items to benefit the museum and have made appearances at the museum to raise funds.

For the record, the items auctioned by Swann Galleries (which I am assuming, as the only recent auction of astronaut-owned material, is to what you are referring) were not owed to anyone but the astronauts themselves. This is not the thread in which to debate the issue but if you search this message board, you'll find the topic has been explained thoroughly several times before.

As Scott references above, what the museum needs now is a benefactor with very deep pockets or someone (like a politician) with the ability to make other resources available. However, donations made now will help extend the time in which the museum has to find a new home or identify further support to remain where they are.

The immediate problem is that without the influx of cash, the museum will close this June without any options on the horizon for its resurrection.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited March 27, 2006).]

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 961
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 03-27-2006 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fellow members, SWOF is a great museum with very knowledgeable volunteers.

I have visited twice.

If we lose the museum, we lose the talking history books that go with it.

Garry (MarylandSpace)

bruce
Member

Posts: 830
From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-27-2006 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The museum may be better served by sourcing another location and reduce the fiscal overheaad...

Am I missing something or wouldn't it be a logistical (and expensive) moving nightmare to have to relocate the monuments on the surrounding grounds?

Anybody got a phone number for Jeb Bush?

Best,
Bruce

[This message has been edited by bruce (edited March 27, 2006).]

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-27-2006 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bruce:
Anybody got a phone number for Jeb Bush?
Via Email

jeb.bush@myflorida.com

Phone/Fax

Phone: 850/488/7146
Fax: 850-487-0801

Mailing Address

The Capitol
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 03-27-2006 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fellow cS'ers:

As a Titusville resident I have visited the museum at least twice a month since it opened. First at Miracle City Mall then in 2003 when it relocated to Searstown Mall.
A number of times I took my Young Astronaut Club to visit and see the "mecahical map" with the history of the Cape. Each time I have discovered a new treasure. Space workers are the focus of the museum and its greatest asset. I have written to our politicians but don't expect much of a response.

BTW:Bruce, they won't have to relocate the monuments. They are on city property along the Indian River "downtown". This thread is specifically about the museum.

My feeling is this:
We have a first class air museum located at the south end of town at Space Coast Regional Airport. We have this wonderful "diamond in the rough" space museum that has had to scratch and claw to survive, why because it never has had a "proper" home. Why can't those who run both organizations join forces to develop a world class Air & Space Museum. The air museum folks just held their annual air show and hosted about 20,000 people in three days. Imagine how many more would come if astronauts like Hoot Gibson came and flew in the air show. Then visited with those attending (like the astronaut encounter) at KSC.
There is room at the airport for a new building. It can be like a hangar on the outside and finished on the inside to host events, display ALL of the artifacts (something not possible yet). The new museum could also operate a "shuttle" to take folks downtown to visit the monuments and view launches.

It will be a sad day when the current museum closes. I honestly think its too late to prevent that but I hope that its not too late to plan a new beginning.

my two cents,

Tim

[This message has been edited by KSCartist (edited March 27, 2006).]

4allmankind
Member

Posts: 715
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 03-27-2006 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Knowing that it was going to be my last time visiting the museum, I stopped by the museum twice during my trip to Titusville 3 weeks ago.

It was so sad to walk around and know that the doors would be closing due to money. A 5,000/month rent bill is terrible given the condition of that mall. The owners of that mall should be ashamed to ask that much.

The artifacts in the museum deserve to be displayed in a better venue than that mall, so I look at this with a positive light. THe employees and what the museum stand for deserve to be somewhere that welcomes them.

With hope, soon the museum will find a host that wants them- by charging reasonable rent. As I walked out, I did slip some money in the collection box in the front of the gift shop as I did during the Air and Space show a few years ago.

I hope that something will be done to get major funding soon. The facility really deserves it.

Jay

[This message has been edited by 4allmankind (edited March 27, 2006).]

november25
Member

Posts: 646
From: Douglas, Isle of Man, UK
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 03-27-2006 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for november25   Click Here to Email november25     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert,
Thanks for this info-Ted and myself visited this museum,and spent a great time viewing all the marvellous space items -this was whilst we attended the AIR AND SPACE SHOW.
Which Al H had got together,did here that they were wanting to find a new location because of the rent increase.
whilst Hubby and myself are in Florida late May.06 will go along to see Charlie,and see what we can do.Such a great shame,marvellous
memorbilia in there.
regards from
Brenda.

prototype
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 03-28-2006 07:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for prototype   Click Here to Email prototype     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have they considered some type of integration with the nearby Astronaut Hall of Fame? How about an educational institution, community college? A building or room not quite so grandiose in rent as a mall?

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 961
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 03-28-2006 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SWOF is a great freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee museum with volunteers that know the history and mechanics of the space program.

It is unique and valuable.

Merger is not an option.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 400
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 03-28-2006 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although there are some unquestionably some historic items on display and enthusiastic volunteers, clearly the marketplace is speaking. Having both the KSC Visitor Center AND the Astronaut Hall of Fame in such close proximity is satisfying the current demand in the area. Propping up a facility that's not economically-viable may be a "feel-good" thing to do but it just postpones the inevitable...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-28-2006 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It wouldn't be prudent to share all the details (nor am I am saying I am privy to them all) but attempts to merge with other museums and centers have been unsuccessful. Practically every local Titusville-area option has been explored to no avail. At this point, a move is almost definite but not before the museum will have to close and go into hibernation until a venue and funds can be identified. This latest push has been with the hopes of finding a stop-gap solution to avoid closing and the potential loss of artifacts that any such action might cause.

The SWOF museum is a diamond in the rough. It could tell a very unique story — different than the AHOF or KSCVC — if provided the resources to craft and refine its exhibits. The AHOF is dedicated to the astronauts and KSCVC is about the hardware; no public facility currently serves to honor the workforce, which is exactly the purpose of the SWOF.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 03-28-2006 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert-

My sugggestion was probably a bit wishful thinking at best. I do know that Charlie has been aggressive in searching for alternative solutions.

Is there any way you in your position could reach national media folks like Miles O'Brien and maybe get this story out? It might come to the attention of someone who could help and/or alert other former space workers about the SWOF and its mission.

Tim

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-28-2006 08:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Tim--Much has already been tried on the county, state and national levels. Even our local, state and U.S. political leaders, including our own gun-ho space supporter Bill Nelson, a one-time Shuttle payload specialist, have been contacted. Most are fully aware of the museum's plight and many have offered their support. Even major space organizations and companies continue to be supportive as several have donated monies along with other support areas. In regards to "getting the word out" to many of the veteran Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space workers ... specific "help and need donations" newsletters were mailed by the thousands last year in addition to other media campaigns. Of all the "help" newsletters that were mailed, only a fraction of a percentage (less than 1%?) ever responded back!--Ken Havekotte, one of the first SWOF lifetime members and current board-serving committee member.

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 961
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 03-28-2006 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How 'bout space at one of the contractors?

OPOS
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 04-01-2006 07:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OPOS   Click Here to Email OPOS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to agree the rent increase is outrageous considering the condition of the mall. I was there for Al's EXCELLENT Air and Space show and I think the air conditioning units were on the blink.

As was rightly pointed out, this is a unique place where you will get sights and information not available at the other centers in the area.

Perhaps a fundraising event of some kind could be put together, in addition to donations. Now that I am back in FL, I would be there in a heartbeat!

Tom Edmonds

paulushumungus
Member

Posts: 425
From: Burton, Derbyshire, England
Registered: Oct 2005

posted 04-19-2006 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for paulushumungus   Click Here to Email paulushumungus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I visted the museum last week whilst on holiday in Florida and it was a wonderful museum.I spent two hours there and could have spent the whole day if time had permitted.Karen and Linda (hope I remembered their names correctly) were lovely and made a big effort to show us around (since we had come over from the UK).I WAS GUTTED when I left knowing that it would not be around for much longer.The people at the museum were SO DEDICATED AND ENTHUSIASTIC !!!!.They were true space buffs and it is an absolute travesty that nothing can be done to save this wonderful museum.They had on display some very important pieces and the exhibits were equally as important as the items on show up the road at KSC and at the Astonaut hall of fame.Al Shepherds Corvett had already gone and the other items were starting to be split up and returned to their respective owners.If this museum shuts down then they will not get the collection back together again and it will be lost for good.

If I win the lottery this weekend you've got my money !

Surly some famous rich enthusiast can do something.!!!!!!!!COME ON TOM HANKS GET YOUR WALLET OUT NOW !!!!!!!!!!I would guess that they need a few hundred dollars to construct a permenant place of their own.Then they wont be slaves to the rent !

ITS A CRYING SHAME

Wehaveliftoff
Member

Posts: 728
From:
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 04-19-2006 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's the unsubstantiated rent increses which is the problem. Anyone know someone who could put the pressure on the mall owner(s)
and picket their headquarters, and get the the local TV crew to interview them as to the outrageous rent increase? Will the rent go down if the museum storage moves from its location?

Steven Kaplan
Member

Posts: 110
From:
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 04-19-2006 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steven Kaplan   Click Here to Email Steven Kaplan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The museum is a gem which really should be saved. However, picketing the landlord is childish and pressuring a businessman/woman who owns the mall through the local media is not an answer. Make a contribution. (Yes, I have visited the museum and made a donation)

Rob Joyner
Member

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-20-2006 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended the Air & Space Show there and I felt so embarrassed knowing that our space heroes had to actually enter and walk through such a pathetic and run-down relic of the past like this mall.
Besides the museum, there is, of course, that retail dinosaur Sears, the movie theatre, two or three Mom & Pop stores and maybe a restaurant. And that's about it!
The ONLY 'public' restroom in the entire place was actually inside Sears!!! If one wants to go back in time, then visit this store and 'mall'. It was quite laughable, and yet very sad too.
It seems the ignorant owners of this so-called mall feel that raising rents will keep the very, very few occupants they have there! These 'owners' obviously need new consultants, to say the least!
This wonderful museum deserves to be in a far better, more respectable place.
How much better would it be to see Shepard's Corvette and the rest at the AHOF Museum or KSCVC?



KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 04-20-2006 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a resident of the town the museum and "mall" are in I understand everyones feelings about the situation. But some things need to be said.

The Saerstown Mall came to the rescue in 2003 when the landlord at the previous site Miracle City Mall forced a move.

Since then Searstown has been sold and the new owners are raising the rent. While I agree that it strains credibility to call this location a "mall" the new owners have begun making improvements and are working to attract new tenants. It is looking better. But if I owned the mall - the museum and its unique collection and historians would never have to leave. I'd only charge them utilities and write it off as a charitable donation.

I attended Yuri's Night at the museum and had a chance to speak with Charlie Mars. He assures me that the museum will rise again. I know Charlie well enough to know never to underestimate him.

Where there is life, there is hope.

Tim

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 933
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 05-01-2006 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the text of a response I got from Jeb Bush's office (email both ways):

April 28, 2006


Eugene Bella

eugenebella@hotmail.com

Dear Eugene Bella:

Thank you for writing to Governor Jeb Bush regarding funding for the Space Walk Hall of Fame Museum. The Governor appreciates receiving your comments and asked that I respond on his behalf.

The Governor developed his budget recommendations with an eye toward maximizing the use of existing programs and ensuring that Floridians are getting the best value for their dollar. The Bush/Jennings Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2006-07 was provided to the Legislature on February 1, 2006 and did not include funding for this museum. Please be assured the Governor will carefully consider your request and the many other requests from concerned Floridians while working with the Legislature to develop the Fiscal Year 2006-07 General Appropriations Act to meet our state’s priority needs.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your views with Governor Bush. Your thoughts are very important to him. You may wish to share your views with your local legislative delegation members as they develop and make decisions on the state’s Fiscal Year 2006-07 budget.

Sincerely,

Teresa B. Tinker, Policy Coordinator

Office of Policy and Budget

Executive Office of the Governor

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-05-2006 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just in case this was missed on our front page:
quote:
June 2, 2006 / 1:44 p.m. CT (1844 GMT)
Space Walk walking: The Space Walk of Fame Museum is closing later this month, but will reopen in August at a new location closer to the monuments its Foundation is responsible for creating and preserving. As earlier reported, rising rent costs at the Searstown Mall in Titusville, Florida, where the museum was housed since 2003, had forced the Walk of Fame to find a new location for its space worker-donated artifacts. The new museum will be at 4 Main Street in Titusville, which is near Space View Park and the Space Walk of Fame's monuments to Mercury and Gemini. As the Main Street space has less display room, some of the museum's larger space models are to be put on exhibit at the Brevard County Courthouse.
And today, from Florida Today:
quote:
The new location has 2,000 square feet, compared with the 10,000-square-foot area the museum currently occupies. Rent will be about $900 a month.

Charlie Mars, president of the Space Walk of Fame Museum Foundation, said exhibits will be changed frequently as they are moved in and out of storage.

"We will have to make some choices," Mars said. "We think we are going to be a better museum, even though we have to really cut down."

The Main Street display opens Aug. 1, while the Searstown Mall museum will be open until the middle of this month. The walk of fame gift shop will remain open until July 10.


Read the full article here.

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 06-05-2006 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The best local news I heard this week. I've already spoken with Charlie to volunteer and help get the new place cleaned up, painted and ready - and then to help move the artifacts.
Unfortunately the incredible mechanical map that showcases the history of the "Cape" won't fit into the new home. Hopefully a proper home can be found for this treasure.

If any cSer's are willing and able to help call the museum to volunteer.

Tim

NasaFrk
Member

Posts: 56
From: Winter Park,FL
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 06-05-2006 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NasaFrk   Click Here to Email NasaFrk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tim, Let me know a dated or time frame for helping get the new place ready. I believe I can help you out. Pat

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 06-06-2006 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pat-

Thank you for the response - but what you want to do is contact the museum directly.

Robert- if it is ok please post the museums phone number,

Tim

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement