1940 Airport Terminal Museum

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


Cessna Bobcat


Some of the original signal lights


Aviation fuel truck


Ramp 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




3 thoughts on “1940 Airport Terminal Museum

  1. Airports are exciting places. My grandson began working in baggage when he started college and worked at Hobby and Dallas airports. Now he is in charge of ground operations for forty-eight airports for United. No wonder I like airports!

  2. I like the wonderful old Art Deco style of this terminal. Art Deco was such an optimistic outlook, full of pride in the technological advances of the time and full of hope for the future. And then the Depression and the War came along and crushed all that hope.

  3. I think that bas relief is titled “Fascist Megalomaniac Screws Airline Safety”.

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