In September 2010 The Museum Of Flight moved three big airplanes out of Boeing’s historic “Plant 2,” to prepare for the building’s demolition. The pictures in this post – except for one map – were taken by the Museum on the night of the move and are used here by their kind permission.
Much has been written locally about the history of the building and the reasons for the demolition. It all comes down to one situation: This legendary building leaked a bunch of junk into the Duwamish River over several decades, and now Boeing has agreed to take on a big part of the cleanup. A restored stretch of the river will be created, and contaminated soil will be replaced by clean sand. Sadly, Plant 2 will only be a memory by 2012.
Sad, because this building is legendary for what it has provided to the aeronautical world.
Plant 2 is huge – the size of about three football fields. The facility was built around 1935, and was added to over the years. It is situated on East Marginal Way, across from King County International Airport (aka “Boeing Field”). While most of the building is located in the City of Tukwila, the northern corner of the structure is in the City of Seattle. The site borders the Duwamish river; Seattle’s South Park neighborhood is right across the waterway.
During World War II, Plant 2 produced the B-17 Bomber – 16 of them per day. Later on, other historic planes came out of the plant, like the 707, the B-47, and the B-52 and many others. For the last 20 years, the plant has served more as storage than anything. The Museum of Flight was allowed to also store three of their restored airplanes inside one of the work areas – A B-29, a B-17, and a Lockheed Super Constellation. With the coming site demolition, those planes had to be relocated.
The move was a historic moment, because it was the last time a B-17 would leave Plant 2. All planes were towed across East Marginal Way to Boeing Field. The Constellation was pulled south to the Museum, and then back across East Marginal to the Air Park. It now sits alongside the first ever 747 and a Concorde. The B-17 and the B-29 were taken to storage facilities on the east side of Boeing Field, where they will remain for the winter.
Thanks to Ted Huetter, Public Relations and Promotions Manager at The Museum of Flight, for giving permission to post these photos!
The Museum Of Flight – http://museumofflight.org
King County International Airport – http://www.kingcounty.gov
Slideshow of Duwamish River (Benjamin Lukoff) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukobe
Boeing tearing down historic Plant 2 – http://www.komonews.com
Boeing Announces Duwamish Waterway Environmental Cleanup and Habitat Restoration – http://bit.ly/cP3kf4
Lower Duwamish River Habitat Restoration Plan – http://www.portseattle.org
Boeing will clean up lower Duwamish Waterway in Seattle – http://www.greenrightnow.com/
EPA Page on Boeing Plant 2 – http://yosemite.epa.gov
Boeing agrees to restoration to resolve pollution case – http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace
This story was originally published on Posterous.com, which is scheduled to be shut down on 30 April 2013