Last week, we covered the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, where airplanes once landed by sea, but the airport also has other vintage elements that can be easily overlooked. The American Airlines Hangar still have their original logos and as you can see from this photograph taken on Monday, the airline still actively uses these buildings.
American Airlines was actually a key player in the development of LaGuardia Airport and it was here that they created the first airport lounge, The Admirals Club in 1939 inside what is now concourses C and D. The club actually rented the space in the airport from a office of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who had been criticized in the press for the large, modern offices. It also wasn’t always called The Admirals Club, even though the airline wanted the name. According to American Airlines’ history of the club:
Ironically, when the papers were drawn up for the club’s liquor license, a judge refused to grant the name “Admirals Club” on the grounds the public might think it was a facility for Navy admirals only. So the club was initially called the “Flagship Club” until the legal hurdles were overcome.
Also at the beginning of the club’s history, receptionists were called “skippers” and bartenders were called “stewards,” in homage to the nautical theme.
As required by NYC code, the facades of these hangars are up for assessment in 2015–hopefully they’ll keep the vintage feel even as improvements are made at the airport. Hangars 2 and 4 are already slated to be demolished for the redevelopment of the Central Terminal Building, so keep your eyes out for announcements on these American Airlines hangars.