I know but there was no airport until Idlewild was built (correct me if Im wrong) in the 1940s. Before that there was Floyd Bennett field and Flushing. LGA
opened in 1939.
"February 23, 2003
It's Back to Nature for a Once Bustling Airport
By DENNY LEE
Takeoffs and landings at the old Flushing Airport will soon be reserved for birds.
The city plans to restore to wetlands 33 acres of the abandoned airstrip, which ranked among the nation's busiest until La Guardia Airport opened in 1939. The plan involves ripping out old hangars, weeds and runways to make way for manmade inlets, native vegetation and the return of wildlife. Soon, the hope is, there will be fleets of herons, raptors and oystercatchers.
"This is the last former airport in the city we've been trying to bring back to life," said David Lutz, executive director of Neighborhood Open Space Coalition. "It has the potential to become the most naturalistic site in northern Queens." The other airports being naturalized include Floyd Bennett Field near Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, and Miller Field in New Dorp Beach on Staten Island.
The city's Economic Development Corporation, which owns Flushing Airport, hopes to make the design final later this year.
Under state rules the creation of the new wetlands will make the city eligible to add 20 of the airport's 78 acres to the nearby College Point Corporation Park, said Janel Patterson, an E.D.C. spokeswoman. The rest of the land will be a buffer between the wetlands and the College Point commercial area. The corporate park is home to 175 companies, including a New York Times printing plant, and several developers are interested in the site.
"We don't want another shopping mall," Marilyn Bitterman, district manager for Community Board 7 in Queens. said about the new corporate acres. But she likes the openness the wetlands will bring.
Flushing Airport, which closed in 1984, has been a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Over the years, several proposals have been made for the site, including using it as a mooring dock for blimps. "This plan is throwing a monkey wrench into everything," said Alan Gross, president of Airships Unlimited, which made the blimp proposal.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company