Newark Airport Building 1 Art Deco terminal
A hidden original terminal at Newark Airport

The trio of New York City airports—John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport—all occupy separate spaces in the hearts of New Yorkers. Recent renovations at LaGuardia Airport might shift fliers’ preferences. Nevertheless, Newark Liberty International Airport, the oldest airfield in the nation, boasts its own secrets.

Since its founding on October 1, 1928, Newark Liberty International Airport has acted as a landing ground for domestic, international, military, and postal service flights. The first plane to land at Newark, a four-passenger monoplane, graced the runway in August of that year. Commercial planes would follow after the airport’s completion in the coming months. Hailing from Washington, D.C., the plane set a precedent for thousands of planes that have followed it its wheel tracks.

1. Newark Liberty International Airport has an Art Deco Terminal

Newark Building 1 lobby

Built in 1935, Newark Airport’s original terminal was designed in the Art Deco style. This building, called Building 1, no longer acts as a terminal. However, architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle directed efforts to turn it into a home for the Port Authority Police Department, airport administration offices, an operations center, and rescue and firefighting departments. This building is a National Historic Landmark.

The building’s original entrance is hidden in a courtyard, as airport leaders moved the entire building half a mile due to the possibility of a runway extension. During the move, the building was cut into thirds and later seamed together again. The building, which has since expanded 70,000 square feet, still contains the Art Deco-style decor, as well as elements of verticality. Art Deco font and semicircles characterize the entrance of the building. Public visitors can check out the lobby which has historic exhibits about the airport and aviation.