Quick, what was New York City’s first municipal airport? If you answered Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, give yourself a pat on the back as not many people would know that. Fewer still appreciate the patina that the former airport, located at the southernmost tip of Flatbush Avenue, has accumulated over the past 80 years. As a teen I lived less than a mile from the site, and I scarcely knew anything about it.
Floyd Bennett Field
More than a year later, southern Manhattan still seems scarred, incomplete; the variegated skyline stretching the length of the island seems an architectural sentence without an emphatic piece of closing punctuation. It’s the visual equivalent of “phantom limb syndrome,” that condition amputees suffer in which they’re not only aware of their amputated appendages but also suffer aches and pains as
National pride and a thirst for aerial trailblazing dubbed the “Lindbergh effect” spurred the advances that mark what is known in retrospect as the Golden Age of Aviation, the 1930s. It was one of the most exciting and productive periods in aviation history. In Europe, competition for the Schneider Trophy drove speeds to rarefied heights, and in the U.S.