Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport was a single runway airport in Chicago that was in operation from December 1948 until March 2003. The airport sat adjacent to downtown Chicago, the second largest business district in North America. Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley forced the closing of Meigs in 2003 by ordering the overnight bulldozing of its runway.
About Meigs Field in brief
Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport was a single runway airport in Chicago that was in operation from December 1948 until March 2003. The airport sat adjacent to downtown Chicago, the second largest business district in North America. Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley forced the closing of Meigs in 2003 by ordering the overnight bulldozing of its runway without notice, in violation of Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Northerly Island, owned by the Chicago Park District, is the only lakefront structure to be built based on Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. The island was to be populated by trees and grass for the public enjoyment by all. It was also the site of the Century of Progress in Chicago. Chicago’s first airplane flight took place in 1910 in Grant Park, with an international aeronautical exhibition at the same location in 1911. In the 1930s the Chicago City Council and Illinois State Legislature passed resolutions to create the airport, but both the poor economy and World War II intervened. In 1946, airport construction began. On June 30, 1950, the airport was officially renamed Merrill C.Meigs Field, named after Merrill Meigs, publisher of the Chicago Herald and Examiner and an aviation advocate. By 1955, by 1955, had become the busiest single-strip airport in the United States. In 1968, Gopher Airlines was operating nonstop service between the airport and Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota.
During the mid 1950s, Illini Airlines. was operating scheduled passenger service between Freeport, WI, Rockford, IL, Madison, IL and Sterling, IL with de Havilland Dove and Piper Navajo twin engine prop aircraft. From the early 1960s to the early 1990s, typical intrastate destinations were Springfield, Springfield, and Carbondale, IL. Corporate aircraft also used the airfield including Cessna Citation and Dassault Falcon 10 business jets, and Beechcraft King Air and Grumman Gulfstream I business propjets. The Main Terminal Building was operated by Chicago Department of Aviation and contained waiting areas as well as office and counter space. The north end of the runway was near the Adler Planetarium, near McCormick Place. The runway at Meig’s Field was nearly 3,900 by 150 ft. In addition, there were four public helicopter pads at the south end ofthe runway, nearMcCormick Place, near. McCormickplace. In 1928, the Chicago Association of Commerce, representing the business community, also advocated for the lakefront airport. That same year the Illinois state legislature deeded 24 acres of adjacent lake bottom to Chicago for additional landfill, to make the property large enough for a suitable runway. In 1920, Chicagoans approved a bond referendum to pay for landfill construction of the peninsula, and in 1922 construction began, with the 1933 World’s Fair occupying the just-completed peninsula.