Phase II: Completing the Restoration on the Atrium and South Wing Galleries
The $1.5 million Phase II Capital Improvement Campaign facilitated restoration of the Terminal’s first floor, important work on floors 2-5, and restoration of the 1929 Carter Field Airmail Hangar as the museum’s new Aviation Education Hangar.
Thanks to the Phase II improvements, visitors now enter the Museum on the ground floor of its two-story atrium. The atrium includes the original marble floor and several of the original tiled counters. Hanging from the two story ceiling is a magnificent art deco chandelier.
On the left side of the atrium, visitors see airline counters recreated in their original locations. The atrium includes an explanation of aviation’s role in Houston’s development and a detailed history of Hobby Airport. The Museum gift shop occupies the original site of the Terminal's lunch counter. The high-ceilinged interconnected offices in the right wing of the Terminal house exhibits on general aviation history, business aviation history, and will soon be home to a new interactive aviation learning center for kids. Behind the atrium's airline counters, the north wing of the Terminal houses airlines history exhibits and the Starliner Theater.
Phase II also provided the 1940 Air Terminal Museum with a much-needed museum exhibit hangar. By restoring the oldest building on what is now Hobby Airport, the 1929 Carter Field Airmail Hangar, museum visitors can now tour the Museum’s beautiful 1943 Lockheed Lodestar and enjoy other large exhibits such as Southwest Airlines’ original Boeing 737 simulator and a 1927 Ford Model T Texaco Fuel Truck. These important parts of the Museum’s collection, while previously well preserved, can now finally be exhibited. Additionally, the hangar affords the Museum an outstanding venue for large special events. The Hangar also provides large, dedicated space for the Museum’s growing archives.