As the focal point of the new Amelia Earhart Airport Museum, Muriel will bring Amelia’s story to life and will live on to educate future generations. This first-class Museum will offer displays and activities in history, aviation and Amelia Earhart. Educational programming will focus on Kindergarten through Sixth Grade, but the Museum’s components will appeal to people of all ages.
It will feature a new Amelia Earhart statue and many other valuable collectibles that have helped shape the history of flight. An historic LINK Trainer, a groundbreaking flight simulator made famous during World War II and used to train more than 500,000 U.S. pilots, has been procured. A generous Museum benefactor has pledged to donate several valuable papers, journals and correspondence related to the pursuits and accomplishments of Amelia Earhart. Interactive and experiential programming coupled with a variety of rotating exhibits in a highly-engaging atmosphere will attract individuals, families, educators, aviation enthusiasts and historians alike.
The Museum will complement the numerous other Amelia Earhart memorials and attractions in Atchison, which already draw tens of thousands of visitors to the City annually. The new hangar facility will also be part of the broader modernization of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Airport, greatly enhancing the airport’s use and longevity.
The new, multi-purpose hangar facility will serve as a museum, airport and community gathering space. The building will be styled in a 1930s motif, immediately transporting visitors back to a time of social realism, hope and art deco – and one of the most innovative periods in aviation history. The Hangar Museum has selected Al J. Mueller for the design-build construction of a pre-engineered, 16,800 square-foot metal building that will house a museum, hangar space, viewing mezzanine, lobby, storage/prep bay, offices, pilots’ lounge, conference room and community room. Muriel will be visible to all airport traffic and facility visitors, even outside the Museum’s hours of operation.
The facility will be a much-needed upgrade to the City’s airport. Already a highly-desirable and cost-effective mid-continent airport, the Atchison Amelia Earhart Airport offers pilots a convenient location outside of KCI’s commercial airspace.
Preliminary plans call for the airport to remain a public use and non-commercial airport. After improvements, the Airport will continue to offer its full range of services including fuel service, aircraft maintenance and rental, flight instruction and planning stations, wifi, vending and restrooms. Relocated fuel tanks and a more user-friendly facility will enable an increase in recreational and business flyers, medical transport, law enforcement and agricultural aircraft.
Through these airport improvements, the new Hangar Museum will draw more people to access the area and all Atchison has to offer.
The Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum is committed to establishing and maintaining partnerships with other civic, business, government and educational entities to make it more successful in fulfilling its mission. Its Board of Directors is investing in significant, professionally-facilitated exploration and planning efforts focused on design and construction, exhibits and programming, operations and sustainability and fundraising feasibility of multiple sources including public and private investment.
The Board of Directors is actively creating a strategic plan, master facility plan, fundraising plan and business model while identifying opportunities with development and financial partners to help support its goals. It will secure the services of a professional exhibit designer and conduct a peer review of similar aviation and educational museums across the U.S. to determine how to best create a premier destination experience and community asset. It will evaluate multiple revenue streams such as admission income, curriculum and resource materials, memberships, field trips, space rental, merchandise sales, philanthropy and an endowment to ensure long-term sustainability.
Bring Muriel Home and Build the Hangar
Ladd Seaberg – Atchison businessman, civic leader, Board member, philanthropist, adventurer, pilot and beloved family man – held a fascination with Amelia Earhart. Ladd loved his hometown and worked tirelessly to sustain and improve his community. Ladd’s vision to bring Muriel home to Atchison was achieved in 2016 when the Foundation adopted the aircraft.
As the focal point of the new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, Muriel, named in honor of Amelia’s sister Muriel, will bring Amelia’s story to life and will live on to educate future generations.
Build the Museum
With the shell built, the next step in our vision is to build the museum and have inspiration come alive. The Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum will encourage young minds to achieve the seemingly impossible. The new, 16,800 square-foot hangar facility will serve as a museum, airport terminal and community gathering space, offering:
- Interactive and experiential exhibits
- An historic LINK Trainer, a groundbreaking flight simulator made famous during World War II
- Historic correspondence and collectibles that have shaped the history of flight
- Hangar space
- Community and conference rooms
- Pilot’s lounge
- Viewing mezzanine where Muriel will be visible to all airport traffic and facility visitors, even outside the Museum’s hours of operation
During this phase, we will grow our membership base and seek endowment funding to ensure a strong and sustainable organization for the long-term.
Spread our Wings and Take Flight
In the spirit of dreaming big, our hope is to bring the wonder and educational opportunities to children and classrooms around the country. Technology has connected us all and made it possible for our global community to teach and learn from each other.
Working with partners in education, technology and industry we have dreams of bringing the pioneering spirit of Amelia to the hearts of children far and wide. We hope to inspire the next generation of pioneers to dream big and imagine the impossible.