- Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility
The Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility is located in Silver Hill,
Maryland, USA. The facility, also nicknamed "Silver Hill", is where the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museumrestores aircraft, spacecraft, and other artifacts. It is named in honor of Paul E. Garber, a Smithsonian curator who devoted most of his career to maintain a collection of historic aircraft. It was created in the early 1950s by Garber to store, protect the museum's growing collection of World War IIaircraft and provide space to restore them. The facility consists of 32 unassuming metal buildings. 19 of those buildings are devoted to storage of airplanes, spacecraft, engines, and various parts awaiting restoration. One building is devoted to a large restoration shop, and three buildings are for exhibition creation.
The restorers sometimes call on other Smithsonian professionals such as fine art painting restoration experts to consult on aircraft restoration projects. To date, the largest restoration project undertaken by the Garber Center was the
B-29 Superfortress, " Enola Gay". Work began in 1984. The fuselage alone took 10 years of work. The aircraft was finally delivered to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centerin 11 tractor trailer loads over the space of three months in 2003. [ [http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/garber/enola/enola.htm Artifact Restoration - Enola Gay (aft fuselage) ] ]
Previously it acted as a storage facility for items which could not be put on public display, however with the completion of the
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, all items in storage are being moved out of the Garber center. With the opening of Udvar-Hazy, the Garber facility was closed to public tours.
space suits from the Mercury, Apollo, and other US space programs are stored at the facility in environmentally-controlled room.
* [http://www.nasm.si.edu/museum/garber/ Official website]
* [http://www.aviation-history.com/garber/vgarb.html Virtual tour]
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