Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of aircraft of any era. But of course “airplanes” would not have much use if there were not “airports” for them.
The earliest pilots had no airports—they just landed in any convenient farmer’s field.
In 1928 the first purpose-made airport in Houston was built to support air mail service between Houston and Galveston. By 1940 passenger airlines were established: air travel was seen as modern, sexy, and kinda dangerous. An air control tower was built at Houston’s Hobby Airport to handle the growing traffic. It served until the 1970’s when it was replaced by a new one, and fell into derelict neglect. Decades later it was saved from the wrecking ball by a nonprofit group who purchased it, fixed it up (mostly) and turned it into a museum.
Here are some photos from a visit.
The terminal building
OK, I laughed at the strategically-placed airplane on this winged figure
Inside the terminal. It served as ticket counter, baggage check and waiting area. There was no security back then.
Hobby Airport still gets lots of traffic
A Lockheed Lodestar parked behind the terminal
Inside the Lodestar
The 1928 hangar
Some of the original signal lights
Aviation fuel truck
1950s era air traffic control stations
1970s era air traffic control equipment. The terminal’s control tower hasn’t been restored yet and is closed to the public. The museum is hoping someday to raise enough money to place this equipment inside the tower for display.
Decommissioned 737 flight sim trainer
Inside the 737 cockpit
Artifacts from PanAm, one of the airlines to fly out of Hobby in the 1950s