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Fayetteville Clears Way for Military Museum

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FAYETTEVILLE — The wrecking ball began clearing out the 500 block of Hay street in preparation for a new military museum in Fayetteville.

The $12 Million project is expected to boost the downtown area.

As soon as the four blocks of Hay street are torn down, construction will begin on the new airborne and special operations museum.

Fort Bragg and Fayetteville marked the beginning of demolition with a clearing for the future ceremony. Monday, workers took a symbolic swipe out of the corner of the Korean Lounge.

The celebration included the military and civilian community. Fort Bragg marked the occasion with a jump. Mayor J.L. Dawkins cheered as the 500 block came tumbling down.

With this project city leaders hope that a long standing reputation on this block will crumble.

"Back in the early 80's, I used to tell soldiers when I was giving orientation that they needed to get out and get to know people in the local community," museum foundation president and retired Gen. James Lindsay said. "I said that if the only people you know in the community are the people in the bars on the 500 block of Hay street, you don't know anybody. If the only friends you got are in the bars on the 500 block of Hay street you don't have any friends."

"Now, it is going to be totally different," Gen. Lindsay said. "The commanders at Bragg are going to encourage people to come to the 500 block. One so people can become familiar with their Airborne and Special operation heritage, and two to get to know the great people of Fayetteville."

The museum is expected to open in the year 2000, and will measure more than 50,000 square feet. More than 250,000 visitor are expected to visit each year.


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