HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s efforts to restore the historic structures on Ford Island, in the middle of Pearl Harbor, was given a boost this week when the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust announced a $1.5 million grant for interior restoration of the iconic Ford Island Control Tower Operations Building.
The two hangars and the Control Tower stewarded by Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are part of a National Historic Landmark site, as America’s first aviation battlefield. The scars of World War II and the “date that will live in infamy” are still present, museum officials said, noting that windows riddled with bullets fired on that historic day remain as they were. Bomb craters and strafing marks can be seen throughout the site, reminding all who visit of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
George Weaver, a trustee of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust and principal in the firm NAI Rauch Weaver Norfleet Kurtz & Co. located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stated, “The Buehler Trust is proud and honored to help restore the Ford Island Control Tower, a national symbol of freedom. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a place to educate and pass on the legacy of those who rose to the occasion, served our country, and helped preserve the American way. It is important to our country and the world that we remember, honor, and promote understanding.”
The Emil Buehler Trust donation will support the build out of the museum’s library and archival storage, making it possible to relocate historic items currently secured in storage containers, which prohibit public viewing. It will also create public and education spaces, and offices to support Museum operations.
“The gift from the Buehler Trust, combined with the recent $550,000 State of Hawaii Grants in Aid allocation and a $100,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation, gives us great confidence that the Ford Island Control Tower complex will be completed in time to allow public access by the December 2016 commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Ken DeHoff, the museum’s executive director.