Friday, October 9, 2009

Flying Into the Past

I'm not much on the 1960's and 1970's design aesthetic.  Perhaps I'm just too young to appreciate the sleek lines and curves that were once considered so daring and provocative.  Some people call it "Jet Age."  Some call it "Googie."  Some like to argue about the boundaries of such descriptions.  For those sorts of people, they should hop on a 146 bus and visit the old Meigs Field (1400 South Lynn White Drive).

Today, of course, CGX called Northerly Island and is mostly a park, a meadow, and a bird sanctuary that for some reason doesn't seem to attract as many birds as you might think it would.  The old Meigs terminal and control tower are still there.  The control tower has been taken over for storage by the Park Department.  The terminal, however, is open to the public as one of the city's park fieldhouses.

There's not much going on inside, but there are restrooms and meeting rooms, and activity spaces.  But most importantly, you can still get a sense of what the place was like when it was humming with activity and imagine the buzz of propeller planes landing just outside.

It is a remarkable structure that I hope the city continues to preserve.  And with its proximity to the Museum Campus, maybe some of the unused space could be converted into a Midwest aviation museum.

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