Monday, February 22, 2016

Municipal (Midway) Airport 1929


An airplane running onto an adjacent street is another post.

Nelson Herrera posted
Municipal airport 1929 a.k.a Midway
Milo Hamilton posted
Richie Pawlak: This is 1/4 of the present airport.
Noel Joseph: Train tracks right through the center. They eventually moved them, which you can see on Google Earth.
Bill Worley: Back when there was room to over shoot.
Derrick Woodard: Bill Worley Midway Airport Today Got To Have The Shortest Runways For Commercial Airline Travel,....Soon As The Plane Hit The Ground, Reverse Engines And Slam On The Brakes!...Everybody Head Goes Forward Then Snap Back!....Thank God For Seatbelt.
Marty Valaitis: 6000 ft
Bill Carlson: the ridge line across the bottom is the old Lake Michigan shoreline. Laramie at 63rd is 20 feet higher than 55th.
Historic Chicago posted
Chicago Midway Airport (1925)

This was using just the lower-right quadrant of its current size. Cicero is along the right and 63rd is along the bottom. C&WI(B&OCT) had tracks through the land that had to be moved before the full length of all of the runways could be used.

Michael Lowing commented
Jeff Davies posted
Midway Airport.
Photo courtesy of Ron Tamullis.
Richard Pitchford posted
Chicago Midway Airport - Late 50's. Looking north on Cicero Avenue, United Airlines Headquarters bottom right across the street from the original hangars from the late 20's and early 30's. Just a little north, at the intersection, is a Bulko Gas Station. Gas was 25 cents a gallon and they gave you dishes and pumped it for you. 27R was still an active runway.
Doug Wolff posted
Lots of action when Chicago Midway was the world's busiest. My Dad worked in United's offices with the circular tower in the lower right corner. And you gotta love the TWA Connie over the Schlitz billboard....
Larry Johnson shared
Chicago’s Midway Airport when it was the busiest in the world…
Joe Garcia: WOW -- Runway 27R. They actually used those short east/west runways back then......!!! I wonder what year they stopped using them? They weren't used when I flew out of Midway 40 years ago.
Charlie Mikesell: By the time I first went there in 1970, it had the look of an almost abandoned airport!

Jeff Davies
Chicago Municipal Airport. Year Unknown. Pinterest.
Dave Lutzow DC3's were first built in the 30's. They opened up the sky for commercial air travel. This picture could be from then.
Dave Lutzow Look at the cars under the wing. Definitely the 30's
Katie Levin  Chicago Municipal was renamed Midway back in 1949 I think, the same year that Orchard Field was renamed O'Hare.
Dan Quinlan posted
30's photo of r/r tracks going strait thru midway airport! North is to the right.
Dan Quinlan IHB still delivers on BRC line to Central steel! Comes on at Narragansett lnterlocker & heads to the BRC Elsdon single track towards the south end of Corwith yard at 51& Lawndale! Central steel is on 51 & Kedzie ave!

Dan Quinlan posted again
Chicagos Midway airport back the 1930's before the removed and rerouted the Belt railway tracks! Used to go thru the center & wye east of Cicero ave. (bottom of photo)
63rd st. 55th st
Now I need to research "Central Steel."]

David Daruszka commented on Dan's second posting
Grand opening of the bypass.
Dan Quinlan Archer ave & Kenton crossing!!

Bob Lalich commented on the above posting
The tracks going through the middle of the photo were BRC. This diagram illustrates the relocation project.
David Daruszka posted four images with the following comment. Even though three of the photos are redundant, I'm repeating them so that David's commentary is captured as he intended.
The railroad that divided an airport. Originally named Chicago Air Park, Midway Airport was built on a 320-acre plot in 1923 with one cinder runway mainly for airmail flights. In 1926 the city leased the airport and named it Chicago Municipal Airport on December 12, 1927.
The airport expanded to fill the square mile in 1938–41 after a court ordered the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad to reroute tracks that had crossed the square along the northern edge of the older field.
All photos from the Chicago Tribune archives

The left side of the photo is the active airport, the right side prepared for completion but unusable. I wonder if any pilots unfamiliar with the setup landed on the wrong side.

The plans for the bypass. The project was tied up in the courts for years until the C&WI was forced to move their tracks.

I guess the stewardesses are on their day off and helping move the project along.

The opening ceremony for the bypass.

Richard Pitchford posted
An aerial view of Chicago’s Midway International Airport, c. 1950. Image donated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Bridget Pappas I believe in the 50's it was the worlds busiest airport.
[Note that everything was west of Cicero Avenue back then. In the 1970s, we tried to pick flights from Midway instead of O'Hare because it was not busy and you could park in that lot rather close to a door. In the 70s, you had to meet people at the gate because mobile phones had yet to be invented. (Mobile phones put a big box of electronics in the trunk of your car. Cell phones were even later.)]
John van Loon posted
An old Chicago Aerial Survey shot from the '30s showing a rail line in the middle of then Chgo's Municipal Airport. (C&WI RR) I was told by an older timer that an aircraft did once-upon- a-time indeed clip the embankment with it's landing gear.

Bill Poturica posted
Looking to the northwest, 63rd & Cicero at bottom of photo. Runway expansion to the north and west was completed at Chicago Municipal in 1941, at the center of the field the last thing to do was pave over the 59th st. railroad tracks that ran through the airport. Creating the square mile that it is today.
Bill Poturica posted
Eastern Airlines DC-4 landing Midway Airport around 1951, near the corner of 55th & Central.
Bill Poturica posted
Midway Airport looking north down the terminal, late 1950's. At the time it was the worlds busiest airport.
Fredo Brown That is a great picture. I'm assuming that is Cicero Ave. on the top right side of the picture ?
Dwayne Weber Yup, looking north.
Gordon Mazursky TWA Lockheed Constellations. Some say the most beautiful airliner ever built.
Fredo Brown
Dyadya Abdul ...and there was an observation deck to view the action.
Mike Stakas You could put on headphones and listen to the pilots and control tower

Bill Carlson posted
Last pic of the main terminal and control tower built in 1948.
Karyn Bromann . The Midway Airport parking garage opened in 1999, bringing covered parking to the airport for the first time. The garage is connected to the Midway terminal building for convenient access to ticket counters and baggage claim areas. 

Continuing with 
the expansion project, a pedestrian bridge over Cicero Avenue was built in 2000, connecting the new terminal to the new concourses. In 2001 the new 900,000-square-foot (84,000 m ) Midway Airport terminal building opened, with larger ticket counters, spacious baggage claim areas, traveler information, and a short walking distance to gates. A 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m ) food court opened with Chicago-style food and retail options.
Bill Carlson posted
Midway airport in 1927,Cicero avenue is behind the hangars and 59th is where the railroad tracks crossed the property.
Brian Bulldozers Stone commented on Bill's post, cropped
Nice shot of Madigans empire — just think —- 40 years later he got ownership of it and never let go...
Well in 1970 or so... blurs together don’t it.

Lenny Jennings commented on Milo's post
Chrysler Village from the air. Midway in the background. Clearing Industrial District in the foreground.

Video of the history of the airport.

Were there really train tracks through the center of Chicago Municipal Airport's runways?

In Sept 2020, I got hit with a Double Doomsday. Both Facebook and Google changed their software. I said "changed" instead of "updated" because the new software is not better. In fact, Google's Blogger software is far worse except for a search function that works. Specifically, it has three bugs concerning photos and their captions. So I'm no longer copying photos and interesting comments from Facebook. I'm just saving the link. I hope you can access posts in Private Groups.

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