World War 1 Aeroplanes, Inc., publishes two quarterlies, WW1 AERO - Journal of the Early Aeroplane and SKYWAYS - Journal of the Airplane 1920-1940.
We have just sent a letter (see below) to the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Board of Trustees by USPS Express Mail.
We will post any subsequent communication - this is likely to prove the beginning of a lengthy back-and-forth.
Carroll Gray (cfgray on theaerodrome.com), Board Chair, WW1 Aeroplanes, Inc., a not-for-profit organization with a 45-year history
Terry McClinch, President, Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum Board of Trustees
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
16 February 2006
Dear President McClinch and Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum Board of Trustees Members,
We are writing to convey our World War 1 AEROPLANES, Inc., Board’s willingness to assist your Board to pursue and adhere to the goals and objectives set out by Cole and Rita Palen when they formed your Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum Board: 1) to ensure Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum’s longevity; 2) to preserve the present collection as wholly intact as is reasonable and possible; 3) to add to the collection; 4) to continue to present historic machines in flight to the public; and 5) to encourage participation of volunteers and skilled craftspeople in operating the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum.
Our Board has adopted the following Statement of Policy:
“It shall be the Policy of World War 1 AEROPLANES, Inc., to provide active, visible support, in our publications (WW1 AERO & SKYWAYS) and through other means, to organizations, institutions, and magazines and other publications, which are engaged in aviation history as well as the conservation and reproduction of aeroplanes, to ensure their survivability and adherence to purpose, and to assist individuals engaged in such activities.”
As you and we are well aware, there has been much concern expressed about the present and future status of the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum. It has been difficult, in the almost total absence of comment from your Board, to sort out the matters causing concern, however, it is clear that we must all work together if the desires of Cole and Rita Palen are to be met.
There has also been great concern expressed that unique and important items in the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum collection may be or have been sold or otherwise disposed of. We invite your explicit and firm assurance that no such sales or disposals have happened and that none have been or are being planned. We strongly urge that the sale of any duplicate or non-essential items be done only on condition that all resulting funds be used solely to ensure the preservation of the aerodrome and its static collection.
Of some recent concern is the pending residential development (7 Pines, LLC – Norton Road – Subdivision Plat) of land adjacent to the end of the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum runway, under consideration this past May by the Red Hook Township Planning Board. We would like to know what, if anything, your Board has done to apply for National Register of Historical Places status for the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, which will become eligible for listing on the Register in 2009. As you may be aware, certain criteria, stated by the National Park Service (see attached), apply.
World War 1 AEROPLANES, Inc., is prepared to help ensure that the character, integrity and purpose of the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum remain true to the original vision of Cole and Rita Palen.
Carroll F. Gray, Chair, World War 1 AEROPLANES, Inc.
15700 Royal Oak Road
Encino, CA 91436-3908
Sent on action of the World War 1 AEROPLANES, Inc., Board, publishers of WW1 AERO - The Journal of the Early Aeroplane and SKYWAYS - The Journal of the Airplane 1920-1940
US National Park Service criteria - National Register of Historical Places
cc: 1) David Palmquist, NYS Education Department, Room 3090, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230
2) Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum President Terry McClinch, 2661 Congress St. Fairfield, CT 06824