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Disney Making Over Terminal at LA's First Commercial Airport

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Glendale-watching Tropico Station reported last week that the city has approved Disney's (sensitive) renovation of the Grand Central Air Terminal: the 1929 building "is just about all that remains from Glendale's once thriving Grand Central Airport. Grand Central was the departure site for the nation's first regularly scheduled coast to coast flight, piloted by Charles Lindbergh." It was also the LA area's first commercial airport, opened in 1922; the terminal building was designed by Henry L. Gogerty "in a seamless blend of the Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles," according to city report (pdf). The airport closed in the late 1950s and was redeveloped into the Grand Central Business Center; Disney bought the whole thing in the late '90s and now plans to adaptively reuse the terminal building to create a visitor center, offices, and event space. According to TS, "There will be a media wall and interpretive displays illuminating the history of Grand Central."

Disney will also demolish a neighboring building to create a landscaped area (known as the Air Terminal Green) to be used for outdoor events ("but, more importantly, also open up views of the historic terminal that have been blocked since the 1960s," says the report). Disney is working with architects Frederick Fisher and Partners and landscape architects Pamela Burton + Company, along with a big team of preservationists. They'll be required to allow "limited public access," probably via some kind of reservation system, and Glendale has also requested that they "place an airplane of the appropriate period on the site."

Disney's agreement with the city requires work to be done by the end of 2015. They've also agreed to nominate the building to the National Register of Historic Places.
· Glendale Approves Disney's Grand Central Air Terminal Renovation Plan [Tropico Station]