New museum set to open at Illinois’ Clow International Airport

A new museum will open its doors early next year at Clow International Airport (1C5) in Bolingbrook, Ill.

Dubbed The Illinois Aviation Museum, the facility is being created by volunteers and a lot of community support, including the donation of a 6,000-square-foot hangar and $158,000 for interior remodeling, said Kent Demuth, the museum’s executive director.

“In October we held our first fundraiser,” he said. “We expected about 100 people to show up. Instead, we had about 300 people and we raised about $30,000.”

In August the village of Bolingbrook bought the 75-acre airport, which is about 30 miles from Chicago, from Joe DePaulo with the intent of keeping the airport in operation. “That’s kind of backwards from how it usually goes,” says DePaulo, who is now the airport manager and chairman of the museum.

The focus of the museum is hands-on education for kids. Included in those activities is the restoration of aircraft, such as a 1940s-era Luscombe and a Navy T-33, under the watchful eye of adult volunteers.

630-854-5506. A website, IllinoisAeroMuseum.com, is under development.

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