Assemblyman Lavine announces $250,000 grant
for Armor Museum construction
As bulldozers start the task of clearing the land for the construction of the Museum of American Armor on the grounds of Old Bethpage Village Restoration, New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine has announced the awarding of a $250,000 state grant that will allow the museum to meet its infrastructure needs.
Assemblyman Lavine stated, “In addition to the power of this museum to pay tribute to the American soldier, it is also an economic generator that strengthens our tourism destination industry, a growing factor in our local economy. The rate of return for the taxpayer will be significant as Armor attracts national and international visitors to its operational collection.”
Michael Polimeni, a member of the Museum of American Armor’s Board of Directors, stated, “This grant will help ensure that we are able to achieve multiple goals: serve as an American military tribute, operate as an educational center and emerge as an economic asset for Nassau County and the region as a whole. We are deeply appreciative of the efforts of Assemblyman Lavine and his recognition that the Museum of American Armor will create economic value for our community while preserving our nation’s heritage.”
The construction effort is being supervised by Blumenfeld Development Group. Cameron Engineering and Gaddis Architects are providing professional support. Gencon Construction Corporation is donating their labor to erect the building. Pratt Brothers has been selected to break ground and prepare the site for the steel and concrete to follow.
The museum was founded by Lawrence Kadish whose $1,000,000 gift has enabled construction to begin. He stated, “In a 21st Century where digital fantasies and social networking too often obscure the harsh reality of the world from many of our young Americans, this museum is designed to remind them that prior generations not much older than they literally saved civilization. It is also meant to focus our attention on the continuing War on Terror and the sacrifices made by a new generation of Americans. It is meant to pay tribute to the past and remind us that the future is never guaranteed unless there are Americans willing to defend this nation.”
The Visitor’s Experience
Visitors will arrive at the park to find a museum complex that is separate and distinct from the nationally respected Restoration Village. As they approach the museum they will be welcomed by a design that incorporates the colors of our nation’s flag, an armor vehicle that helps define their experience and an operational collection that periodically departs the museum for field maneuvers.
Permanent displays include a Wall of Honor that pays tribute to the men and women from the region who have worn our country’s uniform; exhibits that highlight unique military chapters in our nation’s history including the War on terror; and interactive displays that showcase the role of armor in defending our freedoms.
Virtually all of the museum’s operational vehicles will be on public display including the iconic Sherman tank, a Stuart light tank often deployed by the Marines during their WW II Pacific campaigns, a potent 155 mm howitzer, reconnaissance vehicles that acted as armored scouts for American forces, anti-aircraft guns and similar weapons that broke the back of the Axis powers during World War II. Other vehicles range from a classic LaSalle staff car in the markings of a Fleet Admiral to jeeps, weapons carriers and half-tracks.