The Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor center will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 29, according to a press release from The National Park Service.
Since the winter of 2016, the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, a National Historic Landmark, has been closed for a project to preserve and restore its architecturally significant features and to rehabilitate its mechanical and electrical systems. The $5.8 million rehabilitation project was awarded to Group III Management, Inc. (Kinston, North Carolina).
While the visitor center has been under renovation, staff were busy managing a separate project to design, fabricate, and install all new interactive exhibits. The fully accessible exhibits reveal an intimate look at Wilbur and Orville Wright, along with their inspirations and setbacks in achieving flight. The exhibits highlight why they chose Kitty Hawk for their flight experiments from 1900-1903 and what life was like for the brothers during their time in the Outer Banks. The exhibits also highlight people who helped and interacted with the Wrights, like their sister Katharine Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Octave Chanute, Bill and Addie Tate, and Charles Taylor. In addition to all new exhibits, a 16-screen video wall features images of Wilbur and Orville, Wright flying machines, inspirational quotes, images of flight, and select scenes of flight. The $1.5 million exhibit project was awarded to Formations Inc. (Portland, Oregon).
When the visitor center reopens on Sept. 29, visitors will once again be able to see the reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer in which the brothers made their first flight.