Udvar Hazy Center of National Air & Space Museum Opens

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  • The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum opened to the public on December 15, 2003. Opening events included an Appreciation Day on December 6; a Salute to Military Aviation Veterans on December 9; and Opening Celebration Gala on December 10; the Dedication on December 11; and Opening Day on December 15, 2003. The new museum building was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, the St. Louis-based architecture firm that also designed the museum on the National Mall. The center complements the NASM in Washington, D.C., and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
  • Located in Northern Virginia near Washington Dulles International Airport, the entire Udvar-Hazy Center will be approximately 760,000 square feet when completed. A second phase of construction, including a restoration hangar, archive facilities and storage, will occur when adequate funds are raised. Total cost for the project, for design, site infrastructure, construction, move-in and start-up is approximately $311 million. Congress mandated that only non-federal funds be used in the construction of the center. The Center is named for International Lease Finance Corp. chairman and CEO Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, who donated $65 million for the project.


  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
  • Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution 2003 Annual Report, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2004, pp. 8-9.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


December 15, 2003


  • Openings
  • New Museums

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