The first American in orbit! Launch Complex-14 is most well known as the launch site for NASA’s Mercury-Atlas 6 flight, which made Glenn the first American in orbit. Later, it was the site for Atlas-Agena launches for the Agena Target Vehicles for Project Gemini. Following decommissioning and abandonment as an active launch site, LC-14 slowly fell into decay. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean created an ideal environment for corrosion of metal components, and the complex’s red metal gantry structures were dismantled for safety purposes in the 1970s.
In 1997, the 45th Space Wing embarked on a partial restoration of LC-14 under the aegis of the 45th Operations Support Squadron and its commander, Lt Col Dennis Hilley, USAF. Several months later, the exterior and interior of the original blockhouse and its nearby astronaut parking area had been restored, with the blockhouse converted into a conference facility for military, NASA and contractor use.
In addition to the total interior renovation, the blockhouse contains historical documents, photos and memorabilia from Project Mercury, as well as photos of the blockhouse area before, during and after the restoration.