Long Beach Municipal Airport: Terminal Building – Long Beach CA


In 1940-41, the Works Projects Administration (WPA) made major improvements to the Long Beach Airport, then known as Daugherty Field. WPA relief workers constructed a new terminal and control tower building  

“In the late 1930s, the council approved plans to purchase 255 acres adjoining the municipal airport and the construction of a three-story administration building and tower at the east side of the airfield. The airfield was improved with 1,000 WPA workers…

The terminal and control tower building was completed and scheduled for grand opening on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Instead, it was repainted in camouflage and used a billet for soldiers and military guns. The terminal formally opened on April 26, 1942 (and its pastel paint was restored in 1945).” (Schipske)

The two-story terminal was designed by Horace Austin and Kenneth Wing in the Streamline Moderne style, with a nautical touch.  

The mosaics inside the building at the work of WPA-artist Grace Richardson Clements.

The Long Beach airport terminal building was declared a city landmark in 1990 and still functions as terminal and administrative offices. It  is undergoing a thorough renovation as this is written in 2022.

Source notes

Gerrie Schipske. Early Aviation in Long Beach. 2009: 10.

Brandon Richardson, "Preserving the past: Work begins on Long Beach Airport's Historic Terminal." Long Beach Business Journal,  September 20, 2022. https://lbbusinessjournal.com/news/preserving-the-past-work-begins-on-long-beach-airports-historic-terminal-building

Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on August 30, 2010.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

4100 E Donald Douglas Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90808

Coordinates: 33.818296, -118.144577

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