Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Location of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City
Established 1982
Location West Side Highway and 46th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates 40°45′53″N 74°00′03″W / 40.764832°N 74.000763°W / 40.764832; -74.000763
Director Susan Marenoff-Zausner

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an American military and maritime history museum with a collection of museum ships in New York City. It is located at Pier 86 at 46th Street in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan. The museum showcases the aircraft carrier the former USS Intrepid, the submarine the former USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 supersonic reconnaissance plane, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Founded in 1982, the museum closed in 2006 for a two-year renovation of the Intrepid and facilities. The museum reopened to the public on November 8, 2008.[1]


Museum entrance
The museum in 1982.

Early years

The museum opened in 1982 at Pier 86 after Zachary Fisher and his brother Larry Fisher, prominent New York real estate developers, and philanthropist and journalist Michael Stern saved the Intrepid from scrapping in 1978.[2] The USS Intrepid became a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[3]

On August 8, 1988, this museum was awarded the USS Growler, a Grayback-class submarine, which carries the nuclear Regulus missile, by the United States Congress from the United States Navy. This ship is still on display at this museum (after extensive renovations in 2009).

Sailors' bunks

The USS Edson, a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer was displayed as an exhibit at this museum from 1989 to 2004.[4] This ship was returned to the Navy, and is now on display at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City, Michigan.[5]

In 2001, the Intrepid served as temporary field headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as it began its investigation of the September 11 attacks.

2006-2009 renovation

On October 1, 2006, the museum closed for repairs and renovations to the ship and the pier. Intrepid was moved down the Hudson by tugboat to The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, New Jersey (previously the Military Ocean Terminal) to undergo restoration.

The scheduled move was delayed on November 6, 2006, when the ship's propellers stuck in the thick Hudson River mud, preventing the tugboats from moving the ship out of her berth. A second successful attempt was made on December 5, 2006, after extensive dredging operations. The aircraft carrier was later floated to Staten Island where her museum facilities were upgraded and expanded before returning to her renovated pier in Manhattan.

The carrier was towed back into place on the Hudson River on October 2, 2008, and reopened to the public on November 8. Additional aircraft are displayed on the flight and hangar decks and the British Airways Concorde was moved from a barge into an exhibit space on the pier.[6]

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Enterprise being lowered onto the Intrepid in 2012

On December 12, 2011, ownership of the Space Shuttle Enterprise was transferred to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.[7][8] In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again.[9] On April 27, 2012 Enterprise was flown to JFK International Airport and was moved by barge to the Intrepid Museum on 3 June 2012.[10][11]

To make room for the Enterprise display, three aircraft are being transferred to the Empire State Aerosciences Museum near Schenectady, NY. These aircraft are a Douglas F3D Skyknight, a Royal Navy Supermarine Scimitar, and a MiG-15.[12]

The Enterprise went on public display Thursday, July 19, 2012 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's new Space Shuttle Pavilion.[13]

Memorial Wall: The names of all who died on The Intrepid from 1943 to 1974

The exhibit was closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. The pavilion and exhibit reopened on July 10, 2013.[14]

Selected exhibits

Flight deck of Intrepid
USS Growler
British Airways Concorde G-BOAD seen from the flight deck of the Intrepid

US Air Force:

US Navy:

US Marine Corps:

US Army:

US Coast Guard:


Other aircraft:

Other spacecraft:

Other attractions:

Educational programming:


Aerial view of the museum from the Hudson River

The museum serves as an event space for community and national events. For instance, it held concerts during the 2013 MLB All-Star Weekend,[19] and 2014's Super Bowl XLVIII, where the museum docked cruise ship Norwegian Getaway, turned into the "Bud Light Hotel".[20] The museum serves as a hub for the annual Fleet Week events. Visiting warships dock at the cruise ship terminals to the north, and events are held on the museum grounds and the deck of the Intrepid.

In the film I am Legend, Will Smith's character is shown hitting golf balls off the Lockheed A-12 on the Intrepid towards a Manhattan parking lot in a deserted New York City. The actor was not allowed to stand upon the aircraft itself, however. The shot was achieved by building a scaffolding near the airplane for the actor to stand on and using the camera angle to achieve the desired illusion.

See also


  1. Narov, Michele (July 19, 2012). "The Enterprise Docks at the Intrepid Museum and Children of Generation Not Interested in Math and Science Show Interest". New York Observer.
  2. Saxon, Wolfgang. Zachary Fisher, 88, Dies; Helped Alter New York Skyline. June 5, 1999. New York Times. Accessed November 8, 2008.
  3. USS Intrepid CV 11. United States Navy. Accessed November 8, 2008.
  5. Bay Imaging and Technology Services. "Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum - Bay City, MI". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  6. Pyle, Richard, "Aircraft carrier survived wars, years of decay", Associated Press (printed in the Washington Times, p. 10), September 30, 2008.
  7. Pearlman, Robert Z (December 12, 2011). "Intrepid Museum Celebrates Ownership of Space Shuttle Enterprise". CollectSpace. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  8. "NASA Transfers Enterprise Title to Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City". December 11, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  9. Bergin, Chris (March 14, 2010). "Enterprise in good condition for potential SCA ferry from Smithsonian NASM". Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  10. Pearlman, Robert Z (March 1, 2012). "Space shuttle Enterprise lands in New York City on April 23". CollectSPACE. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  11. "NASA Transfers Title to Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City" (Press release). PRWeb. November 22, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  12. McGeehan, Patrick. "Anticipating Space Shuttle's Arrival, Old Warplanes Ship Out." The New York Times, 18 April 2012.
  13. Katz, Alex (July 18, 2012). "Space shuttle Enterprise set to open to public. However, the exhibit is currently closed as repairs are made after damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The exhibit is expected to re-open in March 2013.". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  15. Intrepid Museum (April 12, 2011). "Enterprise - Space Shuttle Orbiter - To Come to Intrepid Museum". Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  16. CBS New York (April 12, 2011). "Space Shuttle Enterprise Landing At Intrepid Museum". CBS New York. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  17. Ray, Justin (December 14, 2011). "Shuttle Enterprise's future home now visualized". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  18. "Russian Space Capsule Touches Down at NYC Museum". October 18, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  19. Sardo, Matthew (July 15, 2013). "2013 MLB All-Star Game Road Trip – Day Two". Sports Talk Florida.
  20. "For the Super Bowl, a Cruise Ship Becomes a Shrine to Beer". New York Times.
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Coordinates: 40°45′53″N 74°00′03″W / 40.764832°N 74.000763°W / 40.764832; -74.000763

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