State Awards $400K to Cold War Museum

State Awards $400K to Cold War Museum
The former Strategic Air Command alert center at Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville (National Cold War Center)

The National Cold War Center in Blytheville has received a $400,000 grant from the state Division of Arkansas Heritage Cultural Institutions Trust Fund.

The grant was requested to cover exterior improvements and enhancements of the historic alert facility at the decommissioned Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base, which served the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command during the Cold War.

The alert facility will be the museum's primary exhibit. 

“We are honored to be among the Cultural Institutions Trust Fund recipients,” Mary Gay Shipley, chair of the Cold War Center's board of directors, said in a news release. “Our project is in an early but critical stage of development, and we appreciate the vote of confidence from Arkansas Heritage. We also are proud to be in the company of other museums who are working so hard to preserve essential pieces of Arkansas history.”

Eligible grant recipients are nonprofit cultural institutions that have plans for a major capital expenditure of $7 million or more for a new or modified facility. The U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith received an $800,000 grant through the program.

The Cold War Center's first major on-site exhibit, which explores the base's history and its impact on the Blytheville community, opened in 2020.

Work is underway on the restoration and renovation of the alert facility.

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