Tower Blessing Friday at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
Stabilization of the Ford Island Control Tower officially begins Friday, February 25, 10am with a blessing, it was announced today by Pacific Aviation Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.
“It’s time to begin this long awaited and badly needed Tower stabilization project. The Tower stood guard over Ford Island on the day of the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, so its historical significance is immense,” said DeHoff.
Present at the blessing will be Lance Wilhelm, senior vice president of Kiewit Building Group Inc., the contractor for the stabilization project, along with Project Manager Scott Ruppel, Project Engineer Matt Brannon and Kiewit Business Manager Alma Ohta.
“We look forward to assisting Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in the stabilization of the historic building and control tower that defines the skyline in Pearl Harbor,” said Wilhelm.
This is the second project that Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and Kiewit Building Group have done together. Kiewit Building Group was the general contractor for the current site of the Museum when it opened December 6, 2006.
Also attending the blessing will be Glenn Mason, president of Mason Architects, Inc., architect for the project, and Project Manager Angela Thompson. Commander of Navy Region Hawaii RADM (Rear Admiral) Dixon Smith will also be in attendance, as well as CAPT (Captain) Richard Kitchens, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
It is estimated that $7.5 million is needed to completely restore the Tower. Former Congressman and now Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie was instrumental in helping to secure $3.8 million through the Department of Defense appropriations for the stabilization and restoration of an historic landmark.
The Ford Island Tower complex constructed in 1941 consists of a 3rd story Aerological Center and Observation Deck on top of the 2-story Operations Building, and the Air Traffic Control Center on top a 158-foot steel water tank tower. The Tower played a major role in the naval activity at Pearl Harbor, especially during World War II. The Tower is registered as a Category I structure in the Pearl Harbor Naval Base Historic Preservation Plan of 1978.
The Tower and two-story concrete building and its third story observation structure have been in need of attention over the past 30 years and have deteriorated. The steel components throughout the structure which include the tower skin, stairs, landings, ladders, beams, fascia and flanges are experiencing severe corrosion. Many of the components require repair and refinishing, and in some areas complete removal and replacement.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history.
The Museum, located at 319 Lexington Boulevard in Hangars 37 and 79 on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, recently, was ranked one of the “top ten aviation attractions” nationally by TripAdvisor. Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org for tickets and more information.