Glenn H. Curtiss Airport c. 1930, courtesy of Richard Porcelli via Jim Freeman
Last month, Governor Cuomo revealed his $4 billion plan to overhaul LaGuardia Airport, the third-worst airport in the country that Vice President Biden recently likened to a third-world country. While today it’s hard to imagine New York City without its sub-par airports (JFK is THE worst airport in the nation), they weren’t always a fixture in the city. In fact, LaGuardia was preceded by a much more modest facility with links to world aviation history — Glenn H. Curtiss Airport. It opened in 1929 as a private airfield off Flushing Bay; became a commercial airport called North Beach in 1935; and a decade later was changed to what we know today when then Mayor La Guardia wanted the city to have its own airport and not have to rely on Newark.