The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has designated the Houston Municipal Airport Terminal at the William B. Hobby Airport as a Historic Aerospace Site. Also called the 1940 Air Terminal, it was designed by noted architect Joseph Finger and built by the Works Progress Administration, and provides a rich example of classic art deco architecture. The building features distinctive step forms and intricate geometrical patterns typical of the art deco style. Opened on September 28, 1940, it served as Houston's primary air transport terminal until 1954, when the city's government ordered the construction of the new Houston International Airport Terminal, later renamed the William P. Hobby Airport after the 27th Governor of Texas. In 1978, the airport's manager James Delong proposed demolishing the 1940 Air Terminal to free up ramp space, but aviation enthusiasts blocked the effort. Today the city leases the terminal to the Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society, which uses the building to house the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation and dissemination of information about significant locations in aerospace history. Other sites include the Boeing Red Barn, Seattle, Washington; Annonay, France, site of the first unmanned balloon launch; and Tranquility Base, site of the first manned lunar landing.
Photo: Courtesy of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum