6. Floyd Bennett Field Control Tower
Floyd Bennet Field is a remnant of the Golden Age of Aviation. During Open House New York Weekend, visitors can relive those days with a visit to Floyd Bennett Field’s Ryan Visitor Center, now part of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area. The Ryan Visitor Center once served as the glamorous terminal for the airport which opened as New York City’s first municipal airport in 1931. The large brick building, which once boasted amenities like a restaurant, barbershop, newsstand, and a cocktail bar with views looking out over the airport’s runways, is now a museum which tells the story of Floyd Bennett Field.
The tour begins in the museum where guests will learn about the history of the airfield and the famous aviators, like Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes, who came through. Guests will also get to peek into the tunnels underneath the runways where airport staff transported travelers’ luggage to their planes, a space not generally open to the public. The experience ends in the restored control tower, also not generally open to the public, offering panoramic views of Jamaica Bay and the airport’s runways and grasslands. After the tour, take a self-guided walking tour of the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project, where expert volunteers work on Gateway’s collection of historic aircraft. Tours will be available on Sunday, October 20th at 10:00AM to 11:30AM, 12:00PM to 1:30PM and 2:00PM to 3:30PM. Book here when registration opens!