At the beginning of powered flight, most airplanes required only a stretch of grassy plain 1,500 feet long for take-off and landing, and a converted barn served as both terminal and hangar. Only with the advent of a profitable commercial aviation industry in the late 1920s, some twenty-five years after Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic flight, did the modern airport become essential. In 1929, Lloyd Wright (1890–1978), architect and landscape architect and eldest son of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed three unbuilt airports in response to the need for this new building typology.
The exhibition, based on a 1987 CCA acquisition, features sketches, presentation drawings, photographs and documents of Wright’s designs for the Los Angeles Municipal Airport; the Boeing Airport, Burbank, California; and the Lehigh Airports Competition. The three projects are supplemented by books, trade catalogues, and photographs selected from the CCA collection exploring the origins of airport design. Curated by Howard Shubert, CCA.