Marine Air Terminal
Construction of New York’s LaGuardia Airport was among the largest undertakings of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) and included both today’s main airport (then the “landplane field”) and what is now the Marine Air Terminal (then the “seaplane division”). The airport was constructed between 1937 and 1939 and dedicated in March 1940. At the time it was among the most advanced airports in the world.
The 1939 WPA Guide to New York City (p.567) describes the new project:
“The seaplane division is designed to accommodate regular transaltlantic airplane travel and will be used by Pan American Airways, Air France Transatlantique, Imperial Airways, Royal Dutch, and Deutsche Lufthansa. Its facilities will eventually include two hangars holding twelve to fourteen planes; a marine traffic terminal connecting with the hangars by tunnel; an administration building containing waiting and baggage rooms, and offices for navigation, flight control, health, customs, and immigration; and a platform ramp on Flushing Bay for landing passengers.
The landplane field will be used as the eastern terminus for the planes of the Transcontinental and Western, the American, the United, and the Eastern air lines, replacing Newark Airport in this respect…
The cost of the airport is estimated at $22,000,000, of which 70 percent will be borne by WPA. Work was begun early in 1938.”
The terminal is an Art Deco design, consisting of a “of a central circular core of two stories with an attic from which a rectangular entrance pavilion and two symmetrically opposed one-story wings project…” (wikipedia)
The WPA Guide to New York City, Federal Writers Project, Random House (1939), p.567 "The New Deal: A 75th Anniversary Celebration." Kathryn Flynn with Richard Polese. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Air_Terminal
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