The Warner Museum of Aviation and Transportation finally broke ground on April 13, after 20 years of overcoming obstacles to its preservation of the past and bringing aviation history home to Sioux City, Iowa.
It’s been a long journey. “We had an air museum for four years before 9/11,” said WMAT Board of Directors member Bud Nelson, but it has been seven years since the museum’s eviction from its former home.
“Since that time we’ve been a museum without a home,” commented the museum’s president, Ray Edgington. “They’ve been waiting a long time to have a new home and to have permanent home,” added Project Manager Douglas Rose. “Through the years there’s been a lot of doubt as to whether or not we’d be able to do it,” said Edgington.
Displaying aviation and transportation artifacts will preserve Sioux City’s rich aviation history, according to Nelson. “I look back at my own history and I know that there’s a lot of history that I didn’t have or didn’t know about,” he said.
“Our museum building itself will house some of the smaller artifacts that you do not see,” Edgington said, but he pointed out that there won’t be room for everything. “That’s a good challenge for a museum that took almost 20 years to come home,” he said. One of the planes on display was restored and flown from Wyoming to Sioux City two years ago.
Phase I of the Warner Museum of Aviation and Transportation will be open to the public this fall. In May, Fed-Ex will deliver a Boeing 727 to the museum site. The donation will be connected to the building as a permanent exhibit.