The James S. McDonnell Prologue Room is named in tribute to "Mr. Mac" who founded the St. Louis-based McDonnell Aircraft Company in 1939. Often quoting a line from a Shakespearean play -- "what's past is prologue," Mr. Mac believed we should honor and learn from our past because it is the foundation on which we build our future.
The exhibit is housed in the headquarters building for the Boeing Defense, Space and Security division of The Boeing Company. Originally, the building was erected as the world headquarters for the then newly merged McDonnell Aircraft Corporation and Douglas Airplane Company (based in southern California), which merged in 1967. Work on the 322,000-gross-square-foot building began in 1971, and was first opened for occupancy in 1973, however, the Prologue Room wasn't made available to the public until 1975.
Although situated at the company's military and space headquarters, the exhibit represents the history for all of the Boeing legacy companies, and hosts guests from all over the world. To date, more than half a million people have visited the exhibit during our summer tourist season, and thousands more visit each year as part of a group tour or business function.
The Prologue Room is located on the lobby level of Building 100 at the corner of McDonnell Boulevard and Airport Road, adjacent to Lambert-St. Louis International airport.