Starting this November, the historic Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center will undergo a rehabilitation project to preserve and restore its existing architecturally significant features and to rehabilitate its mechanical and electrical systems. A temporary visitor center will be available for visitors during the rehabilitation.
While the rehabilitation project is taking place, the park will also be completing the design of new interactive exhibits, relevant to today’s audiences, that will replace the current 1960-era exhibits.
The reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer will be loaned to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh during the duration of the rehabilitation project. The Flyer will become part of a current lobby exhibit on the Wright Brothers which already includes a full scale reproduction of the Wright Brothers 1911 Glider. According to Ken Howard, Director of the North Carolina Museum of History,
“The North Carolina Museum of History is excited to be working with the National Park Service to provide a temporary home for their reproduction of the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer while the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center is rehabilitated. The flights of the Wright Brothers in North Carolina are some of the most important events in our state’s history.” Upon completion of the project, the 1903 Flyer will return to Wright Brothers National Memorial, where it will be prominently displayed in the Visitor Center Flight Room.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center was designated a National Historic Landmark on January 3, 2001. Both the rehabilitation project and interpretive exhibit upgrades are expected to be completed during the summer of 2018.