The Intrepid was decommissioned in 1974 and might have been used for scrap had it not been for the intervention of real estate developers Zachary and Larry Fisher. The two brothers launched a campaign with the help of philanthropist Michael Stern to save the Intrepid and operate the historic carrier as a naval air and space museum. The Intrepid museum opened in 1982 and was designated as a National Historic Landmark four years later.
On August 8, 1988, the museum was awarded the USS Growler; a Grayback-class submarine. Following the September 11 attacks, the ship was used as a field office by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the early stages of their investigation into the attacks.
The museum has undergone two major renovations between 2006 and 2009. The first renovation included the expansion of exhibit space and facilities. The museum closed temporarily due to damage from Hurricane Sandy but reopened with new exhibits and a variety of new static exhibits of historic aircrafts. The Intrepid is home to some of the most famous and significant military and commercial aircrafts - the SR-71 Blackbird, a British Airways Concorde, a replica of the Aurora 7 Mercury capsule, a Russian Soyuz descent module, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The Enterprise is housed on the flight deck in its own pavilion.