Newark Airport Administration Building – Newark NJ

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Description

The original Newark Airport terminal building, then known as Building 1, was built in 1934-35 with New Deal funding.  Newark Airport holds a special place in aviation history, with the first paved runway and the first terminal that provided a designated place for passengers and a restaurant. It has been called, by one preservationist, “…the single most important and historic passenger facility in the world” and a model for all that followed. (Quote here)

It is an Art Deco gem, the work of architect John Homlish (an extensive tour of the building and its details, with fine photographs, can be found on the website Decopix).  It was moved and completely renovated in the early 2000s and now serves as offices for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

As NJ.gov details in its 2005 Historic Preservation Awards:
“The original administration building at Newark Airport was constructed in 1935 as the centerpiece of the most significant airport in the world at that time. This building was witness to many important firsts in aviation history, and included an air traffic control center, weather bureau, post office, and night and instrument landing capability. The building design of swept back wings allowed planes to approach the building and the waiting passengers. Previously, passengers would walk across the tarmac to board planes on the taxiways. The building also housed a restaurant, offices and hotel rooms to serve the public and airport staff. Aviation pioneers such as Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Richard Byrd, and Howard Hughes all spent considerable amounts of time at the airport during this period.”

According to some sources, Newark Airport’s administration building was constructed with Civil Works Administration (CWA) funds in 1934-1935. Unfortunately, these dates do not align with the dates for the CWA. It is probably a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, like LaGuardia Airport, but further research is needed to be certain.

The 100,000 square foot building was deconstructed into three pieces and moved as part of a 2.5-year, $55 million renovation effort that began in 2000 under the Port Authority of NY and NJ.  It is now officially Building 51.

Two of the original New Deal murals for the building are now housed at the Newark City Museum.

Source notes

http://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/4sustain/awds2005.htm#awd4
"New Jersey, a guide to its present and past"; Federal Writers' Project (p. 338)

http://www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-facts-info.html

http://www.decopix.com/newark-airport-fabulous-building-one/

https://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/27/nyregion/slow-return-hub-for-aviation-after-67-years-newark-s-first-terminal-has-new-life.html

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on July 9, 2014.

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Location Info


Newark, NJ

Coordinates: 40.704591, -74.170056

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