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Arts and Entertainment

The Crawford Auto Museum is reopening after a major renovation
The new space focuses on Cleveland's role in auto history

Kevin Niedermier
The Crawford Auto Aviation Collection is reopening after a renovation.
Courtesy of WRHS
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Cleveland’s Crawford Auto/Aviation Collection reopens this Saturday after being closed since 2010 for a complete renovation. Derek Moore is head curator of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s transportation museum. He says the $4 million renovation of the facility’s first floor involved taking out interior walls and making it an open gallery. Moore says this area focuses on the Cleveland entrepreneurs who played key roles in early automotive history.

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They include industrialists John D. Rockefeller and Fred Crawford, as well as Alexander Winton, whom Moore credits with designing the first factory to mass produce cars in the late 1800's, and Garrett Morgan, the inventor of the traffic signal.

Moore says the exhibit focuses first on the men "who were really involved in the technological end of developing things. And then it moves into telling the story of the car companies that existed here, (and) the national air races that were held here promoting aviation technology.

The Crawford museum is still raising money to renovate the facility’s lower floor. Moore says that project should be finished in mid-2014. The museum opened in 1965, and has nearly 160 cars in its collection. 

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