The U.S.S. Intrepid looks visibly pregnant, and it seems as though she still hopes to give birth to an offshoot of the museum in a parking lot directly across the street. About nine months ago, New York’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum revealed that it had its eye on a prime parcel owned by New York State adjacent to the museum on 12th Avenue to house its newest attraction, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Most of the recent attention on the shuttle has focused on the herculean effort to get it onto the deck, where it rests in a temporary pavilion that sits on the bow looking like a bulbous balloon about to burst. A spokesperson for City Planning said that the city’s zoning laws extend out to piers but requirements for permanently docked structures are a bit nebulous.
In an interview, museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner said that the goal remains to get the Shuttle onto dry land. She was quick to note that the renderings on display in the temporary pavilion were merely a concept for the new building, not a final design. The display is part of a fund raising effort for the new complex called “Sponsor a Star.”
The master plan calls for a permanent home with all of the amenities required of a cultural institution today, including classrooms, an auditorium, retail, and a café. It would also become the entry point to process the expected one million visitors each year. The lot is already connected to the museum by a pedestrian bridge that spans 12th Avenue.
Marenoff-Zausner said that Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate services company, is conducting a feasibility study based in part on the interest generated by the new star attraction over the next year. Asked about about the project’s feasibility, the museum president said, “The State has been wonderful.”