HOUSTON, WE’VE HAD A RESTORATION HERE
The team achieved its goal to open the Apollo Mission Control Center in July 2019, in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. “We had the controllers who actually were in the room, at their consoles at the exact time of landing, 50 years later,” Tetley recalls.
“I played the actual flight controller loops, so they could all hear themselves talking during the touchdown,” Graves remembers. “It was a pretty special moment for those guys.”
Tetley notes the highlight of the project for her was the moment the flight controllers came in and saw the restoration. “After working with them for years to make sure it was right and accurate and for them to come in and get teary-eyed because, literally, it takes them back in time, that is the most rewarding part to me,” she says. “We held firm on the historic accuracy of this room, so that was a really proud moment for me.”
“These guys are national heroes and we completed something really nice for them that commemorates the work that they did,” Graves adds. “We got to do something special for people who changed our world. It’s a pretty big deal.”
CLIENT: NASA Johnson Space Center
PRESERVATION AND TECHNICAL PROJECT MANAGER: GRAVitate LLC
- Adam Graves
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AND RESTORATION STAGING: Stern and Bucek Architects
- David Bucek, FAIA, restoration architect
- Jordan Shelton, project manager/lead designer
- Delaney Harris-Finch, preservation specialist
PAINT/FINISH ANALYSIS AND RESTORATION: SOURCE
- Jhonny Langer
CONSOLE RESTORATION: Cosmosphere/SpaceWorks
- Jim Remar
- Jack Graber
AUDIO AND VIDEO HARDWARE DESIGN: The Audio Video Guys
- Dawson Kaiser
VISITOR EXPERIENCE AUDIO AND VIDEO: Ben Feist, Tyler Strahl and Stephen Slater
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Ayuda
- Sonya Yungeberg
- Jennie Keys
SEAT FABRIC REPRODUCTION: Mary Welch Weaving
TEXTILE RESTORATION: Textile Preservation Services of Texas
- Melanie Sanford
Apollo 11 Team Who Helped with the Restoration
William “Bill” Reeves
Douglas Spencer Pearmain
BASE CEILING TILE: Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions
To recreate the original ceiling tiles, the restoration team used a base ceiling tile from Armstrong that contained no holes. They then created a computer-generated hole pattern based off the original tiles and literally hand-stamped the pattern with stick pins and small nails into the base ceiling tile.
APOLLO-ERA WALLPAPER // MANUFACTURER: Victrex PATTERN: Boucle
COLOR: Limed White
RESTORATION WALLPAPER // MANUFACTURER: Koroseal
COLOR: Custom-color-matched to existing Apollo-era wallpaper.
Note: Koroseal purchased Victrex. The original steel rollers were still available and used to create the replacement wallpaper.
APOLLO-ERA CARPET // MANUFACTURER: Bigelow Co.
The original carpet was a woven carpet created using traditional looms where yarn is woven around warps (vertical fibers) and locked in place with horizontal strands (welt).
RESTORATION CARPET // MANUFACTURER: Mohawk Group
STYLE: SS Slrough
COLOR: Custom-color match APPROVED SAMPLE NO.: 50345-M9224
The replacement carpet was produced in broadloom format and trimmed to fit the 28- by 28-inch removable floor panels. The replacement carpet uses custom yarn dyed thread twisted into a single barber pole yarn, which was run through a tufting machine.
Note: Mohawk Industries Inc. purchased the Karastan Bigelow Co. in 1993.
APOLLO-ERA FABRIC // for Steelcase Curved-Back Executive Swivel Chair #1288
Steelcase Elastic Vinyl #5966 Optical Grey
SEAT FABRIC: Nyloweave #5559 Grey
RESTORATION FABRIC // MANUFACTURER: Mosehart-Schleeter Naugasoft #PR-37 Feather from Mosehart- Schleeter
SEAT FABRIC: Custom Weave by Mary Welch WARP: Venne Mercerized 20/2 cotton, Color 7-7099 Light Grey
WEFT: Borgs Vavgamer AB TUNA Wool 6/2 Color 3762 Light brown, Borgs Vavgamer AB TUNA Wool 6/2 Color 3085 Light Grey, Borgs Vavgamer AB Wool 20/2 MORA Color 2029 Black
COFFEE POT // Regal 7016 Coffee Urn, aka “Regal Rocket,” found on eBay
The 40-cup electric coffee percolator features tapered walnut tripod legs and a tapered canister.
The consoles were cleaned but not touched-up or repainted. However, evidence of prior repainting was evident. Generally, the top portions of the consoles are painted a light blue-green and the bottom portions are painted a darker green. The original console paint colors were likely selected from the official list of “Federal Standard Colors.” The first generation of paint was still intact on the rolling cabinets under the consoles and was a match to Sherwin Williams SW6193, Privilege Green.
PHOTOS: NASA Johnson Space Center