Thursday, March 20, 2008

Floyd Bennett- defunct airfield

Considering Floyd Bennett Field was NYC's first municipal airport, I have to admit a great deal of disappointment in how the area, now a National Park and with many of its old, original structures on the US National Register of Historic Places, has not been kept up.

Wayward grass sprouts up between cracks, old hangars from the 1930's bear the forbidding "condemned" sprayed-on boxed x, weeds shroud an old on-site police station, and kids can be seen haphazardly milling about the old runways on their way to the renovated recreation buildings in two of the old hangar buildings.

To see very little interest in the main building/visitor's center, which seems to stand lonely in the middle of a vast parking lot, is heartbreaking. Across the airstrip, "Hangar B" is open to the public and contains old planes, but to gaze at Hangars 1-4, with their ornate carved, beautiful "FBA" stones above doorways slowly crumbling since 1971, I cannot help but wonder why this beautiful historic park isn't receiving more government funding.

If the state can validate spending $750,000 on exotic fish to distract people waiting for the Staten Island Ferry, why can't Floyd Bennett Field have more money to upkeep an incredible set of buildings, key to New York's history?

"Mayor Bloomberg, who attended the unveiling, believes in the calming power of fish."

I hear he also believes in the great forces of eminent domain.

First municipal airport. Sparkly fish.

Priorities, Bloomberg.

Abandoned fridge in the hallway of FBF's old police precinct. The building has sadly been gutted by scrappers.

ID tags on a shelf in the abandoned police precinct.

Boiler in the back of Hangar 3.

Pressure gauge in the boiler room that provided power to the hangars.

Detail on a boiler door.

Sink and surprisingly intact mirror in the boiler room.

Disused shelves, all meticulously labeled, lay strewn about.

I can only hope that Paterson may consider giving more funding to historic parks as his term continues.

No comments: