Local News

March 2, 2013

Could PAFB museum fly?

Public invited to weigh inat informational meeting


One of the largest bases on the East Coast, it at one time hosted more than 4,000 military personnel and their dependents.

The base was closed in September 1995, a decision of the Federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission.


Regardless of any level of public interest, the final decision lies with the Battle of Plattsburgh Association Board.

“We understand that this is a business decision, as far as the board is concerned,” Herkalo said, adding, “The board is very conscious of staying alive.”

Possibly making the process easier, though, is the fact that it already has suitable location.

“(And) it does not require that much to get it into shape.”

The building, now vacant, is on Washington Street on the former old base, across the street from — and the former home of — the War of 1812 Museum.

“It’s a wonderful spot, in my opinion,” Herkalo said.

Electric heating would need to be installed and the plumbing reconnected, he said. The inside would also need to be prepped for exhibits, he said.

“We have a building available. We’re going to use it for something,” even if it’s not for a museum.


Historical artifacts from the base were scattered after it was closed. Some went to an Air Force museum in Colorado, and others are now in the care of the Clinton County Historical Association, Herkalo said.

“Some pieces of it, frankly, disappeared, from what I can understand.”

At the meeting, attendees will be invited to share their knowledge of any Plattsburgh Air Force Base memorabilia that exists, where it is located and who can be contacted about arranging its use by the Battle of Plattsburgh Association for display in a new museum, Herkalo said.

Apart from historical materials, there’s the issue of funding.

“Display design and production costs money,” he noted.

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