Coronavirus Update New York City: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in NYC to reopen with restrictions

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Intrepid Museum set to reopen with restrictions on March 25
The Intrepid's pilot escalator, bomb elevator and photo lab are among the new spaces and experiences

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City announced they will be reopening to the public with restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Thursday, March 25, the museum will initially open with a four-day per week schedule (Thursday-Sunday, 10:00am-5:00pm).

Officials say enhanced health and safety measures will be implemented, including a mandatory face covering policy, enforced social distancing, capacity limits (25 percent), timed ticketing and increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

New and Restored Experiences

As part of an ongoing commitment to open and interpret spaces inside the WWII-era ship, officials say the Intrepid's pilot escalator has been restored and made available to the public for the first time in decades.

The Navy installed escalators on aircraft carriers to help pilots quickly move from their ready rooms deep in the ship to the flight deck.

Intrepid's escalator, installed in the 1950s, is no longer operational; however, visitors can walk up the escalator from the hangar deck to the flight deck and learn about its mechanics and role during service.

Beginning March 25, visitors will have the opportunity to peek into one of Intrepid's bomb elevators. Over the decades, the ship's airplanes carried a changing array of bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles, which could weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. These heavy-duty elevators transported weapons from their armored protected spaces to other parts of the ship where they were assembled, armed and loaded onto airplanes.

In mid-May, visitors will be able to experience a recreated photo lab, and learn about the crew whose job included documenting everything from enemy aircraft and operational accidents to daily life on board to ports of call.

In the photo lab, the ship's photographers developed and printed black and white and later color film, a reminder of the days of analog photography. All these experiences are enhanced by stories directly from crew who served on Intrepid.

Interactive Mobile Guide

Late last year, the Museum debuted an innovation in accessible Museum experiences, the Interactive Mobile Guide, a bring your own accessible device, which allows guests to access exhibit content on their phones. As part of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Intrepid Museum and New York University's Ability Project teamed up to develop this free guide.

The Interactive Mobile Guide is available through visitors' personal smartphones, with a user experience designed to be fully inclusive and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. It helps guests navigate the Museum, and offers a rich collection of content including fast facts, visual descriptions, historic photos, videos and oral histories, statistics, and deep dives into various artifacts and spaces. It also helps combat several COVID-related challenges such as eliminating shared audio tour devices and preventing crowding around exhibit labels.

For reopening, additional experiences have been made available to explore, including numerous spaces within the aircraft carrier Intrepid, the supersonic airliner Concorde and the space shuttle Enterprise. More experiences are expected to launch in the coming months. The Interactive Mobile Guide can be accessed in-person at the Museum by scanning QR codes located near featured exhibits. It can also be found online.

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