Announcing The Big Dig at Historic Willow Run

We are proud to announce the “Big Dig” at historic Willow Run!

When we saved a portion of the World War II-era Willow Run Bomber Plant from demolition, our work had only just begun.

When the main portion of the original facility was demolished, it left our preserved portion with no utilities. Basic services such as  electricity, sewer service, stormwater management, and water supply need to be restored.

Our next step as we continue to “Save the Bomber Plant” is to begin the work necessary to bring critical utilities back to the building.

As we entered the 2017 construction season, the nearest electrical and gas lines were over 2000 feet away from the building. The storm water system needed to be replaced. Sanitary sewer connections are close by, but need to be brought a few hundred feet closer to the building. New water mains for both potable water and fire suppression need to be installed and connected to sources over 2000 feet away. These critical connections will be the first step in bringing utility services back to the building, including permanent electricity and lighting, a heating system, a fire suppression system, potable water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater services.

We estimate the total cost to the Foundation and the Museum of this year’s “Big Dig” to be between $1.2 to 1.5 million, of which we still need to raise $400,000. The great news is that several generous companies and organizations have donated pro-bono materials and construction services to help make it happen. But, we still need cash to complete the job.

Will you do your part to support this critical phase of renovation?

Built in 1940-41, the historic Willow Run B-24 Liberator Bomber Plant at Willow Run, west of Detroit, is where the original “Rosie” did her riveting. At peak production, Willow Run’s assembly line produced an astonishing bomber-every-hour. Tens of thousands of workers, both men and women, came to Willow Run to work in the plant, and many workers’ families still live in the area today.

The Bomber Plant restoration will provide a new home for the Yankee Air Museum, honoring the home front heroes who built the planes, tanks, jeeps and other materiel that made victory in WWII possible. A new Museum in the renovated Bomber Plant will introduce visitors to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that still fuel our economy today. And, as befits the Willow Run location, manufacturing innovation will be a special focus of the Museum we are creating.

There are many steps we need to take, and much work to be done, in order to truly Save the Bomber Plant and transform it into a Museum.

The Big Dig is the next milestone we need to achieve!

Please click on the big, red Donate Button on this web page to be a part of the Big Dig! Thanks for your generous support! Remember, your gift is tax deductible as provided by law.

Enjoy the Big Dig Gallery Below… and stay tuned for a new post soon about the amazing companies and workers who are helping to make it happen!

Ready, set, go! With earth moving machines visible in the distance, the Big Dig is ready to begin!

These gorgeous machines are a just couple of the stars of The Big Dig! The machine on the bottom is a one-pass trenching machine used to install the stormwater French drain, saving time and money.

It’s more than just a trench… we’re going to put it to work to bring utilities back to the Bomber Plant!

Hard at work at The Bg Dig.

Workers on The Big Dig enjoy a close-up view of the Yankee Air Museum’s Yankee Doodle Dandy B-25 bomber.