The Phoenix Shall Rise

Within the week, the Museum moved its business operations across the street into Room 203 at the Casa del Prado. Volunteers lined up outside the temporary office to begin salvage operations. "We began again, February 23rd 1978," appeared on the door after the two boards of directors met and voted to build a combined Aero-Space Museum and International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Captain Mark Starr summed up the plan, "From out of the ashes, the Phoenix shall rise!"

Temporary office space at the Casa del Prado, Room 203. The phone number has stayed the same!

The sorting begins at the Casa del Prado office.

Donations began to stream in from all over the country as attics and garages, closets and storerooms were emptied of aviation treasures and sent to the renewed Museum. A local doctor donated the first airplane, his Bensen gyrocopter, and more aircraft were obtained through donation, purchase, or loan. Many local companies donated valuable space for the recovery effort. A Safeway store in North Park loaned their basement and the downtown Farmers Bazaar loaned floor space. The San Diego Paper Box Company donated a thousand boxes, while another company furnished precious freezer space to dry out wet archival items. The Marine Corps Recruit Depot offered a warehouse for storage of incoming artifacts, plus a building at Camp Elliott to shelter incoming airplanes for the collection.

Freezing was an essential step to dry out the drenched and burned documents.

The Safeway store at 30th and Howard was generous to offer their basement space.

The basement of the Safeway store was used to dry out archival items.

Farmers Bazaar, once located in present-day East Village, provided floor space.  Mangled items are stored at the Farmers Bazaar, March 7, 1978. 

And donations begin to arrive. Staff from the Douglas Museum in Santa Monica bring in books, March 8, 1978.

Storage space is appreciated! The Museum’s new truck makes a delivery to Building 394 at MCRD.    Inside Building 394, volunteers catalog incoming items.

The collection begins to grow inside Building 394 at MCRD.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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