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Original Port Columbus Terminal (1928)

Original Port Columbus Terminal
4920 E. Fifth Avenue Columbus, OH 43219

Year Built: 1929
Address: 124 S. Washington St. Columbus, OH 43215
Original Port Columbus Terminal – 4920 E. Fifth Avenue Columbus, OH 43219
The Original Port Columbus Airport Control Tower was built in 1920 by Allied Architects Association, a consortium of architects best known for their work to create a classical civic center after the 1913 flood. The octagonal control tower and two-story building marked the transfer point of New York passengers by railroad to the Transcontinental Air Transport Ford Tri-Motors to Waynoka, Oklahoma where they boarded another overnight train in New Mexico for a TAT flight to Los Angeles. The entire coast-to-coast trip took only 48 hours, and the inauguration of air service in Columbus was marked on July 8, 1929, with the appearance of noted aviators Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and Henry Ford. Captain Eddie Rickenbacker arrived the next day. The survival of such an early air facility is extraordinarily rare. The building is owned by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority and is unused.

The Columbus Foundation has approved a $50,000 grant to help replace the leaky roof of the original Port Columbus terminal — if a preservation group named Preserving Original Columbus Airport Terminal, led by George O’Donnel and Mike Peppe, can match the amount. According to a 1.6.15 Columbus Dispatch story, if the preservation group hoping to restore the vacant building gets the $100,000, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority might help pay to remove mold inside.

UPDATE July 28, 2015 – According to a report by Columbus Business First, Heartland Bank plans to move its headquarters from a longtime home on North Hamilton Road in Gahanna to the historic building vacant since 2007. Gahanna-based Heartland has signed a letter of intent for a 39-year lease with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority to rent the terminal and hangar on the 5.8-acre southeast corner of the airfield at Port Columbus, the CRAA said Tuesday.

UPDATE March 30, 2021 – See the plan to transform the original 1929 Port Columbus Air Terminal into a civic showpiece and home to the future Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Museum; and learn about the partnership with the Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies in support of youth education. ►VIDEO