Architects behind restoration of Apollo Mission Control to speak at Nov. 10 Zoom event

Mission Control opened in 1965 at the Johnson Space Center and quickly became world famous as NASA managed its Gemini and Apollo space flights from the facility, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that took men to the moon. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Mission Control opened in 1965 at the Johnson Space Center and quickly became world famous as NASA managed its Gemini and Apollo space flights from the facility, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that took men to the moon. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Mission Control opened in 1965 at the Johnson Space Center and quickly became world famous as NASA managed its Gemini and Apollo space flights from the facility, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that took men to the moon. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Houstonians can get a behind-the-scenes look at the restoration of NASA’s Apollo Mission Control Center through a virtual program Nov. 10.

Architects David Bucek, Delaney Harris-Finch and Jordan Shelton, who oversaw the restoration project, will discuss their process at the Zoom event. This event is presented as part of Preservation Houston’s Bart Truxillo Program Series, which honors the memory of pioneer preservationist and Preservation Houston co-founder Bart Truxillo, per an Oct. 21 email from Preservation Houston.

The restoration was completed in July 2019, in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Preservation Houston honored the project with a Good Brick Award for excellence in historic preservation earlier this year, per the email.

The architects used original plans, photos and documents, as well as interviews with retired NASA personnel, to restore Mission Control. This process involved revitalizing even the smallest details: Those involved with the restoration refurbished computer consoles, recreated images on projection screens, conserved and reproduced upholstery and fabric, and even replicated the hole patterns in ceiling, per the email.

Mission Control opened in 1965 at the Johnson Space Center and quickly became world famous, per the email, as NASA managed its Gemini and Apollo space flights from the facility, including the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that took men to the moon. Mission Control was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, but it fell into disrepair after being decommissioned and opened to heavy visitor traffic, per the email.



Planning for the facility’s restoration began in 2015 with input from the Space Center’s historic preservation officer and former NASA flight directors. Stern and Bucek Architects were hired to provide design services that included returning Mission Control to its Apollo 11-era appearance, and Preservation Houston served as a consulting party on the project, per the email.

Advance registration is required for this event; registration is free for members of Preservation Houston and Pier & Beam and $10 for the general public. Click here to register through Nov. 9.

Registrants will receive additional information, including a Zoom link to join the event, no later than the morning of Nov. 10. Registrants will also receive access to a recording of the full program to watch at their convenience. The recording will be available using a personalized link and password that will be sent via email after the program.

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.


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