Houston, We Have Lift-Off
In 1991 a live morning newscast reported the dismantling of the circa 1950 cold war rocket fuselage that was on display at an Army Surplus in Belltown. After hearing the news Fremont Business Association officials immediately went to acquire the Rocket. Instead of heading to the scrap yard, the Rocket was taken to Fremont and into urban mythology.
The 53-foot rocket was constructed from military surplus, using the tail boom of a Fairchild C-119 ‘Flying Boxcar’ transport aircraft dressed up with rocket-like fins. The rocket was originally plagued with engineering difficulties, leaving its constructors with the unfortunate problem of ‘not being able to get it up.’ Until the summer of 1993 when a team of specialists were called in to engineer the electronic features, structural details and design the new fins and nose cone. Neon laser pods have been installed on each fin and on the nose and in launch mode steam vapor emanates from the Rocket base. Thus, the rocket became erected on top of a building on the corner of North 36th Street and Evanston Ave North bearing the Fremont crest and motto, “De Libertas Quirkas”–which means “Freedom to be Peculiar.”