This past week I went to visit the Hangar One’ Foundation Museum located in Glenview, IL. It’s a bit of NAVAIR history right in my backyard. A visit had been long in the planning but I finally got around to it this weekend. The Foundations Museum is located in a small warehouse on was used to be the eastern side of the base, located right next to what is now Lake Glenview.
The mission statement the Hangar One Website:
Glenview Hangar One Foundation was formed to insure that a permanent memorial was created to recognize the contributions of veterans of Naval Air Station Glenview who served, or supported its operations, here and its subordinate locations Wolverine and Sable. The Glenview Hangar One Foundation considers it our duty to discharge this mission because freedom for Americans is secured at a price the time and lives of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States of America who fight, and sometimes die, so that Americans can live free and pursue their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I won’t go into the history of NAS Glenview, as it’s well documented at the Museum itself and at the base’s Wikipedia page. What follows is what I got to see when I visited.
The Museum is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday. The guides are usually personnel that used to work at the base when they were in the military and themselves are treasures of knowledge about NAS Glenview.
The facility itself is rather small but has a lot of interesting things you’ll see displayed. The Hangar One Museum used to be in the shopping area that has since sprung up in the area (in 2004) but the cost of keeping it open there was prohibitive. The tour through the small facility is a guided with the a huge amount of information about the artifacts and the base being passed along.
There are quite a few tables of model airplanes that were built and donated by various people in the community:
There are some other important NAVAIR artifacts that are on display here. Here are a few of my favorite:
There are also quite a few pictures of the base itself and it’s aircraft operating around Chicago:
Outside of the Museum is a Sikorsky HH-52 Sea Guard helicopter that belonged to the United States Coast Guard at Glenview and for a time was on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry:
The main gear, transmission, floats/sponsons, the tail rotor and main and tail blades are all covered but remain outside. The aircraft itself is in good condition but is deteriorating quickly. It needs to be displayed indoors.
I had such a great time here. I spent almost 3 hours here not only looking at the models,artifacts and photos but talking with the volunteers and their experiences at NAS Glenview was by far the best part. I got to be a little kid and have a seat in the helo cockpit and even see some of the things most visitors don’t get a chance to. There’s so much more to see that’s sitting in storage that there’s just no room for. That’s why they need a larger facility. All this history needs to be somehow preserved. They have plans to move into a larger, as yet unbuilt, facility but like most museums, lack there’s a lack of funding and a decided lack of interest from the City of Glenview. The City seems to be ashamed of this history and going out of it’s way to sweep it under the rug.
I encourage you to go visit the Hangar One Museum, make a donation it or if you’re inclined they have a selection of books, magazines, calendars and manuals available for purchase for $10. I picked up a copy of “To War In a Stringbag.” Kind of rare but you’ll never know what you’ll find in the stack.
Here’s some releveant links for Hangar One:
Next post I’ll talk about what you can find in the shopping district of the new site, called The Glen.