August 19, 2009

Goodyear to close World of Rubber museum

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced it is closing the 61-year-old museum dedicated to the corporation in Akron, Ohio.

The company said the World of Rubber, which traces Goodyear's history from its founding until the early 1980s and contains a replica of founder Charles Goodyear's workshop, a World War II Corsair aircraft fuselage, a lunar buggy tire and Indy-style race cars, will be closed permanently Aug. 28, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Wednesday.

Goodyear spokesman Scott Baughman said executives decided to close the museum in part because exhibits have not been updated for decades and the number of visitors to the free museum has been declining in recent years.

We can go days without activity, he said of the museum's waning popularity as an attraction on the fourth floor of Goodyear Hall, across the street from the corporation's headquarters. Baughman said the recent sale of Goodyear Hall put the final nail in the museum's coffin.

The company said many of the museum exhibits will be moved to other areas where they can be viewed by the public while others will find new homes with buyers.