Lost: 1929 Hangar
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | Dec. 22, 2009
One of the oldest airplane hangars in the Chicago area was torn down last month, despite efforts to save it.
Palwaukee Hangar One, on the grounds of the Chicago Executive Airport, was deemed too small for modern aircraft. Airport officials plan to construct a new Art Deco-style structure nearby with hangar space, a restaurant, offices, and room for exhibitions about the history of the airport.
"We've lost a number of buildings in the Chicago area connected to early aviation," says Jim Peters, executive director of Landmarks Illinois, which placed Hangar One on its Watch List last year. "This truly was one of the last of the 1920s airline buildings in the state."
The hangar was originally constructed in 1919 and rebuilt a decade later after a fire. Vacant since July 2008, the two-story brick structure had been designated eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Last year airport officials met with staff from Landmarks Illinois and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, for a tour of the building. "When we were done, we realized that it was a very difficult reuse project," Peters says. (Airport Director Dennis Rouleau did not respond to Preservation's request for comment.)
Many older aviation-related buildings are disappearing, Peters says. "It's a vanishing type all across the country. It's a very tough thing to save."
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