Mike Householder

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, MICH.: Rosie the Riveter’s old plant in Michigan has officially avoided the wrecking ball.

Yankee Air Museum board chairman Ray Hunter signed papers Thursday making the aviation museum the owner of a 144,000-square-foot slice of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant, where Rose Will Monroe and other workers built B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II.

The signing ceremony represented the culmination of efforts to raise the $8 million needed to save part of the factory for the nearby Yankee Air Museum’s new home.

“The building is truly saved,” said Michael Montgomery, a consultant on the fundraising effort.

Hunter, Montgomery and others associated with the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign want to convert the factory and dedicate it to aviation and all the “Rosies” who toiled at similar U.S. plants to aid the war effort.

“We’re very proud that we played a part in preserving” the plant, which “contributed so much to our victory in World War II,” Hunter said.

After the signing event, two Rosies unveiled the name and logo of the planned facility: National Museum of Aviation and Technology at Historic Willow Run.

He said $5 million more is needed to “fill out the interior of the building” — to create the exhibits and infrastructure necessary to transform the edifice into a museum.

The facility in Ypsilanti Township, west of Detroit, was owned by the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust. It took control of sites around the country left behind in General Motors’ bankruptcy.

The Willow Run factory churned out one B-24 every hour and nearly 9,000 in all.