This material is used by permission of Ohio University Press, www.ohioswallow.com

Shortly after World War I, city officials began lobbying for an airport near Columbus. Ten years later, armed with an $850,000 bond issue, the city built a new airport it advertised as “The World’s Greatest Air Harbor.” The airport and terminal building opened in July of 1929.

At that time Port Columbus was the first transfer point for East Coast passengers traveling straight through to the West Coast. They traveled by train at night and by airplane during the day, transferring to planes in Columbus after an overnight train ride. When Port Columbus was opened, the entire trip from coast to coast took forty-eight hours, but only two years later planes were flying transcontinental passengers the entire distance.  In the southeast corner of today’s Port Columbus, the first airport terminal has been preserved and small private aircraft still use its original runway pattern.  The two-story, rectangular, boxy brick terminal has a three-story tower at its northwest corner. Its very simple Streamlined or Art Moderne design features minimal ornamentation—black glazed bricks set among the buff-colored bricks in the walls. Vertical columns support the octagonal tower with its sheet metal pyramidal roof. Later additions were removed and the building was rehabilitated for use as private offices.

MENU