Constructed closer to Manhattan than the commercially unsuccessful Floyd Bennett Field, LaGuardia Airport was conceived in the mid-1930s as New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia realized the need for a great airport for one of the world’s great cities. Originally known as New York Municipal Airport, the popular airport soon had its name changed to recognize LaGuardia’s enormous contribution to the project. At the time of its opening in 1939, it was the largest and most advanced commercial airport in the world with terminals considered art deco masterpieces. Although a very large airport for the era in which it was built, by the late 1940s it was the world’s busiest airport and clearly too small for the increasing amount of air traffic. Through the years its runways were lengthened and facilities were improved to handle larger and faster aircraft. Still one of America’s busiest airports, LaGuardia has witnessed the steady progress of American commercial aviation, from flying boats to jetliners.
About the Author
Joshua Stoff is the curator of the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island and is a noted aviation historian and prolific author. LaGuardia Airport contains photographs, most previously unpublished, from the extensive archives of the Cradle of Aviation Museum as well as the Port Authority Archives.