Glenview Naval Air Station museum in planning stage
By Todd Shields firstname.lastname@example.org November 12, 2012 7:38PM
The old Naval Air Station is at the center of the Glen's modern architecture. | Suzanne Tennant~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 12, 2013 1:50AM
GLENVIEW — A community group is asking for help to persuade officials to donate land for a museum dedicated to the former Glenview Naval Air Station.
Northbrook resident Kirsten Bergin, committee chairwoman of “Bring It Home, Glenview,” has approached trustees in school districts 34 and 225 at recent public meetings to conceptually endorse the project.
She said the museum and aviation-based learning center would historically depict the Navy base that trained more than 17,000 carrier pilots in World War II.
“This facility could be a boon to our school districts and districts in the Chicago area. This is a chance to remember what happened there,” Kirsten said.
Bring It Home pointed out the museum on West Lake Avenue near The Glen Town Center would benefit local businesses and provide an interactive learning facility for students.
And it would serve war veterans “by preserving, honoring and sharing the history of NASG, which was pivotal in World War II and helped shape world events,” the report said.
In addition, it said drawing people to the museum could financially help The Glen’s retail stores.
On June 21, U.S. Bank filed a $55.6 million foreclosure lawsuit against shopping center developer OliverMcMillan LLC.
Glenview is a defendant in the legal action because of a revenue-sharing agreement it had with the developer, according to Village Communications Director Lynne Stiefel.
Bring It Home has collected about 625 local signatures for support, as well from around the United States and three foreign countries.
“I think it’s a great idea having a museum. There’s nothing like seeing and touching history rather than reading about it in a book,” said Joel Taub, a District 225 trustee.
Bring It Home also has proposed using a company to recover a dive bomber from the bottom of Lake Michigan and restore it for museum display.
Bergin believed Glenview village officials were not aware the project’s local support.
“Without widespread community support, it might stall,” she said, hoping public and private sponsors would fund the museum.
Village Manager Todd Hileman said groups have approached Glenview as potential buyers of Parcel 24, and they will be announced in early 2013.
After the Air Station closed in 1995, the village acquired the 1,100 acres and sold parcels to develop The Glen for upscale homes and the shopping center.
In 2007, the village bought nearby Parcel 24 consisting of 41 undeveloped acres from the Navy for $24 million.
In July, Glenview announced selling Parcel 24 and designating 20 acres for civic and green purposes.