Long (Expensive) Road Ahead For Museum
They still don't know what caused the fire that destroyed the Yankee Air Museum at Ypsilanti, Mich., last week but there are some grim truths surfacing about the future of the institution. For instance, it's estimated it will cost $5.5 million just to replace the hangar that housed the collection of more than 13,000 aviation artifacts. So far, about $100,000 has been raised through an online donations site. Volunteers managed to get three flyable aircraft, a B-25, a B-17 and a C-47, away from the flames but virtually everything else was razed. Immediately after the fire, museum president Jon Stevens vowed that the museum would be rebuilt. In fact, the museum had already made plans to raise $55 million for a major expansion of the museum. But with the economy in the tank and governments on all levels cutting back on those types of expenditures, Stevens recognizes it won't be easy. "We know it's tough to raise funds in the current fund-raising climate," he told the Detroit Free Press. "But we're getting our name out so when the money starts flowing again, people will know us."