Emily Poznako
WRHS Chief of Staff
216.721.5722 X 1201
$500,000 State of Ohio Capital Appropriation Awarded to
Western Reserve Historical Society
Funds to Continue Transformation of Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum Galleries
CLEVELAND, OH – Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is pleased to announce a $500,000 capital appropriation from the State of Ohio for the continuing transformation of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum (the Crawford), the anchor museum of the Cleveland History Center (CHC), WRHS’s main campus and headquarters in University Circle.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum was built in 1965 to exhibit WRHS’s nationally ranked and award-winning Frederick C. Crawford Auto and Aviation Collection. Preservation, access and promotion of the collection is supported by the Frederick C. and Kathleen S. Crawford Fund of the Cleveland Foundation.   

The Crawford features hundreds of classic automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and collections that bring the history of transportation to life. The Crawford is the venue for community events and K-12 school programs, most notably WRHS’s Youth Entrepreneurship Education program, presented in partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and with generous leadership funding from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Additionally, the museum is the popular location for conferences and workshops, community and private events, and film and photography shoots. 
“The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at the Cleveland History Center is a nationally recognized collection. We are grateful to our State legislators for their support of the continuation of our renovation and expansion of this exhibit space.” - Peter Kelley, WRHS Board Chair
"The Crawford Museum is vital to understanding the role of Cleveland and northeast Ohio as a center of transportation innovation, manufacturing, and economic prosperity in the United States over three centuries. In the Crawford, guests discover this story through experiences that provide context for today’s conversations. WRHS genuinely appreciates support from The State of Ohio for helping to make this longstanding vision a reality"
- Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO
I am happy to support the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum because of all it does to improve the quality of life and economy in Northeast Ohio.” - State Senator Matt Dolan 
“The Western Reserve Historical Society has been a wonderful organization to work with over the years who always has the best interest of the community in mind. I look forward to seeing how they apply their Capital Budget Appropriation for the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum to continue their history of creating a wonderful experience for visitors through their preserved artifacts.” - State Representative Thomas Patton 
Capital improvements to the Crawford’s lower gallery, collection storage and staging facility continue the work started in 2013 to fully transform the museum experience for the more than 75,000 people who visit the museum each year. State funds awarded in 2020 began Phase 1 of renovations to the 30,000 sf Crawford Lower Gallery including the installation of new flooring, lighting, painting and electrical systems. The $500,000 award will continue this work including the installation of new temporary and permanent exhibits and improvements to the 20,000 sf collection and storage annex to create state of the art storage for museum collections.
Since 2014, WRHS has invested more than $14 million to renovate, upgrade and physically transform guest experiences at the Cleveland History Center and at Hale Farm & Village, its outdoor living history museum located in Bath, Ohio. Funded through a combination of public and private support, capital improvements have significantly improved WRHS’s aesthetic appeal, accessibility, safety, sustainability and overall guest experience, with fresh, modern, inclusive exhibitions, and green gathering places, sustainable landscapes and outdoor galleries and gardens, all ideal for public and private events. These transformative projects allow WRHS to continue to deliver on its promise, achieve greater excellence in its mission, and sustain WRHS for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.     
About the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum
The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum is located at the Cleveland History Center and is part of the Western Reserve Historical Society. The Crawford—originally known as the Thompson Products Auto Album—was founded by Thompson Products (now TRW) president Frederick C. Crawford and opened on August 13, 1943, as one of the first car museums in the U.S. In 1945, Ruth Franklin was named curator and became one of the first female museum curators in the U.S. Franklin held that position for 26 years and was the first woman named to the Board of Trustees for the Antique Automobile Club of America. Mr. Crawford’s collection became part of the Western Reserve Historical Society in 1963, and on September 11, 1965, opened its doors as the Frederick C. Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in a new building at its current location at 10825 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio.
About the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Cleveland History Center
Founded in 1867 as an historic branch of the Cleveland Library Association on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) shares the dynamic stories of Northeast Ohio and beyond – stories of the people, the artifacts and the archives that are the provenance for our region.
Operating seven sites throughout Northeast Ohio, WRHS presents exhibitions, programs and experiences that tell the story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio through art, documents and artifacts from a variety of collections at its headquarters, the Cleveland History Center in University Circle. Through the use of its vast collections of family history, community history, entrepreneurship, and technological innovation, the Cleveland History Center provides a much-needed sense of place in today’s mobile society. It is a base for learning about innovation that can be transferred into modern economic expansion.
WRHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate (, a national outreach program that develops collaborative partnerships with cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. WRHS is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Sponsorships, bequests, grants, admissions, and other funding are used by WRHS to preserve and enrich the region’s artistic and cultural heritage. WRHS has earned a top four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s most-used independent evaluator of charities and nonprofits. Visit us at 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106, at or on social media @clestartshere.