Have you ever walked into a historic site or former military area and felt the energy and know there are so many stories just waiting to be told? That’s how I felt this weekend when a friend and I visited Glenview’s Hangar One Foundation Museum.It is almost as if the men who trained and served there were whispering in my ear, telling me their stories. You know, if you are quiet and listen, you can hear them tell their tales of long ago.
Have you heard of this museum? Many people have not. This museum is located at 2040 Lehigh Avenue in Glenview, Illinois. The museum, while small, is filled with wonderful artifacts and history of the former Naval Air Station at Glenview. And the volunteers are warm, friendly, and very knowledgeable.
I met two wonderful veterans, Irv and Eric, who gave my friend and I a tour of the entire building, including the back room, and spoke of the history of the base. We were also treated to seeing and climbing into the helicopter that used to hang at the Museum of Science and Industry, but now resides at the Hangar One Museum.
The museum is filled with airplane models, engines from old aircraft, uniforms, photographs, books, stories, and other bits of Naval history.
We also discovered, talking with Eric and Irv, that there are many remnants of the old NAS Glenview around The Glen. Did you know in Von Maur which is part of the old Control Tower building, hangs an airplane? You can take the escalator to the second floor and walk around the entire plane and photograph it as it hangs from the ceiling.
Did you know Hangar One Foundation has a scavenger hunt for kids? A two page sheet that provides clues to different artifacts that are both in the museum and around The Glen, like the plan in Von Maur. If the kids complete the scavenger hunt and bring the form back to the museum, they get a certificate.
In The Glen also sits three statues of military personnel. My favorite is the Sailor which makes me think of my Grandpa who served in the U.S. Naval Armed Guard during World War II, and my dad who served both active duty and reserve duty for most of his life.
Irv and Eric are completely dedicated to the museum, which sadly is in need of funding. Doesn’t that seem to be the case with every small museum in the country? Learning a little more about the museum and The Glen, it seems as if the city of Glenview needs to take more of an interest in its history and embrace this small museum. The city seems to neglect this great treasure that sits quietly waiting for someone to visit and hear the stories of those from the past.
Will you help? The museum accepts monetary donations and welcomes visitors on the weekends, Saturdays 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m. Appointments are also available during the week. Please take some time to visit the museum and show your support. It is truly a military treasure in Glenview.
© 2013, Generations, Woodridge, IL