The 1937 Terminal

Change font size:

Old BuildingIn 1937, this art deco terminal was a bold architectural statement for rural New Hampshire. Built as one of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects that sprinkled New Hampshire with unique, useful structures and employed hundreds of Granite State residents, the 1937 airport terminal continued in service until the expansion of Manchester Airport in 1995 slated it for demolition.

Threatened with destruction as Manchester airport expanded its operations, a memorandum of agreement was signed in 1995 by the City of Manchester, the Manchester Airport Director, The Federal Aviation Administration and NH Division of Historical Resources, to preserve the terminal. While serving as a member of the Manchester Airport Authority, Patrick Duffy, then NHAHS's Vice-President, established the fund designated to finance the terminal's move and re-construction as the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire. With unprecedented growth of Manchester Airport, how lucky we were to save The 1937 Terminal from the wrecker's ball.

In 2004, the New Hampshire Aviation Historical Society, Manchester Airport, the City of Manchester and Town of Londonderry, came together to preserve The 1937 Terminal. These groups raised 1.1 million dollars to convert the facility into a museum and educational center.

Awards

In 1995, Manchester Historical Society chose the terminal for its annual preservation award. At that time the survey for application on the State and National Registries of Historic Places was begun. NHAHS completed the documentation required for placement on the New Hampshire Registry of Historic Places and was granted in July of 2004. The Granite State now has a lovely addition to its precious history, as this terminal becomes the only museum in New Hampshire dedicated to the history of aviation.

The Move

The terminal's move from its original location required crossing two active runways to the southeast side of the airport.

The move required accurate coordination between the building movers, airport maintenance staff and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The move began at 6:30 P.M. on Sunday, June 27, 2004.

Pilots who know how sacred the center line is when taking off and landing will appreciate the professional care taken when FAA closed the east west runway for an hour while the terminal crossed, then an hour later, re-opened it for traffic while relinquishing control of the north south runway for the second crossing. This is only the third time in U.S. history that a structure was moved across active runways. The Project Director with Northeast Building Movers informed us that six of the dollies used to move the terminal were also used to move the terminal at Newark Airport.

dawnBy dawn of Monday, June 29, 2004, the terminal was placed within one hundred yards of the foundation where it settled for three days. By June 15th, the terminal was safely resting on the foundation and ready for internal repair work and renovation to begin.

Thanks to the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance's website for some of the information included here about the 1937 terminal move.

Latest News!

 

The Aviation Museum of NH is pleased to announce that it continues to offer the fully accredited aviation classes for Manchester, Londonderry and Exeter high school districts juniors and seniors. 

Read more...

Volunteer

Change font size:

We are seeking volunteers! 

Read more: Volunteer