Restoration and Modern Use
In 1998, a non profit organization, the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society (HAHS), was formed primarily to save the threatened terminal building. HAHS recognized that funding and renovation must be completed in phases, and began a plan to restore the entire building. In later 2003 HAHS contract labor completed the asbestos and lead abatement of the north wing of the terminal. The abatement process stripped the original plaster from the interior walls, leaving the non-loadbearing brick walls of the terminal intact.
The North Wing of the Air Terminal was opened to the public in 2004 as the first phase of the museum. The restored North Wing of the terminal housed the museum's collection and gift shop and served as the museum's base of operations while completing fund raising and restoration of the remainder of the building.
The rest of the building completed asbestos abatement in May 2008 and completed atrium and mezzanine reconstruction in February 2009. The full lower floor will be restored to its original condition when funds permit. The museum will spread out and occupy the entire first floor of the terminal building and then begin renovation of the upper floors.
The American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) designated the 1940 Air Terminal Museum a Historic Aerospace Site. The 1940 Air Terminal is AIAA's 35th aurospace site recognized as a rare example of classic Art Deco airport architecture. In February 2010 the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society was presented with a Good Brick Award for excellence in preservation for the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Good Brick Awards are given annually from the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance.
In 2008, HAHS was granted a license to the oldest hangar on Hobby Airport's grounds, a 1929 Great Silver Fleet Maintenance Hangar. The organization will use this hangar to display larger exhibits from the collection, such as two simulators, and HAHS's aircraft collection, which includes a 1943 Lockheed Lodestar executive businessliner, an S-58 Sikorsky Helicopter that was outfitted for civilian heavy lifting.
Read more about this topic: 1940 Air Terminal Museum
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