Angeles - California Science Center CEO and President
Jeff Rudolph has announced that a unique A-12 Blackbird
spy plane (the CIA version of the U.S. Air Force SR-71
Blackbird) will be installed on Thursday, August 28
atop a newly constructed subterranean parking structure
set to open in December. The A-12, known for traveling
much faster than the speed of sound, is fabricated entirely
of titanium and this particular aircraft is the only
A-12 trainer ever constructed. It has also flown more
flights and spent more hours in the air than any other
A-12. The Blackbird exhibit installation heralds the
upcoming California Science Center "Centennial
of Flight Festival" celebrating the 100th anniversary
of the Wright Brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk.
festival, which takes place Nov. 15 and 16, will feature
a fully restored flying replica of the Wright Brothers’
1902 glider, interactive exhibits, storytelling, hands-on
workshops and presentations. From the Wright Glider
to the supersonic A-12 Blackbird, visitors will see
the progress humans have made in aviation and learn
some of the challenges faced in designing air and spacecraft.
Classic large-format films shown in the Science Center
IMAX Theater, such as To FLY, Silent Sky
and crowd-favorite Space Station 3D, will take
audiences up into the wild-blue yonder. In addition,
the MicrosoftTM 1903 Wright Flyer Simulator
will be on hand, allowing guests a virtual experience
of the thrill and excitement of the Wright Brothers
historic flight. Another special highlight will include
a military flyover along with flyovers of selected historic
Science Center, dedicated to inspiring science learning
in fun and memorable ways, will use the parking structure
as a creative exhibit space for another huge exhibit
as well - a giant lever that will allow guests to lift
a large truck, donated by Toyota.
arrival of the A-12 last week was enthusiastically followed
by Blackbird buffs. The A-12 was assembled on-site to
prepare it for installation on three pylons. It marks
the latest addition to the Science Center’s singular
collection of planes and spacecraft, most of which are
housed in or near the Science Center’s Air &
Space Gallery. “We are pleased to provide this
A-12 exhibit as an example of the incredible science
and technology that has taken place in the arena of
air and space since the Wright Brother’s successful
flight a century ago,” said CEO Jeff Rudolph.
parking lot is a welcome addition to the Science Center,
which vies with the Getty Center as the most popular
museum destination in the Los Angeles metropolitan region
with an attendance of approximately 1.3 million visitors
per year. It has received more than 7.7 million visitors
since opening in February 1998.
Science Center commissioned McCarthy Building Companies
Inc., one of the nation’s leading parking structure
builders, to construct the $21.3 million parking structure
at the site of the existing California Science Center
surface parking lot on 39th Street and Figueroa Street.
A time-lapse view of the A-12 assembly and parking lot
construction is available on the Science Center’s
website at www.californiasciencecenter.org. The structure
is one of numerous improvements and expansions prescribed
in the vision of the Science Center ‘s Master
Plan, which includes the Science Center School scheduled
to open in September 2004.
completed, the subterranean parking structure will provide
2,073 parking spaces on 4 levels, for all guests attending
museums and events in Exposition Park. Other park institutions
that will benefit from the parking structure include
the California African American Museum, the Natural
History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, the Exposition Park
Intergenerational Community Center (EPICC), Swim Stadium
and City of Los Angeles Rose Garden.
project architect for the parking structure is International
Parking Design / Frame Design Group of Sherman Oaks,
Calif. Zimmer Gunsul Frasca of Los Angeles provided
design for the site work and Katherine Spitz, Inc. created
the landscape design.
The California Science Center is located at 700 State
Drive – Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Enter visitor
parking at 39th & Figueroa; parking is $6 per car.
Activities are on all three floors of the Science Center.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to Science
Center exhibits is free; for general information, phone
323.SCIENCE (323.724-3623) or visit our website at http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/.
Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair