Hangar 1, Chicago Executive Airport (Palwaukee
1120 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
Architect unknown, 1929
Lost: 1929 Hangar
hangar is one of the oldest airport buildings in the Chicago region and one
of a handful of 1920s hangars remaining in Illinois. In the 1950s, Guthier’s
Flying Field was transformed from “a quiet grass-and-gravel strip airfield”
into the fully modern Palwaukee Airport. (“A Historical Consideration of
Hangar #1.” Heritage Research, Ltd., Nov. 5, 2007). In 1986, the airport was
sold to the villages of Wheeling and Prospect Heights which gave it its
current name. Hangar 1 is the only remaining structure associated with the
entire history and development of the airport.
Current Condition and/or Status: The structure is in good condition
and adaptable due to its large, open floor plate. Its last occupants,
Palwaukee Flyers, a flying school and maintenance company was relocated to another building in July 2008.
The hangar has been vacant since that time.
Potential Threat: Airport officials plan to demolish the hangar and
replace it in the same location with a new multi-hangar structure with a
restaurant, offices and exhibition space to display the airport’s history.
The new four-hangar structure is to be designed in a retro Art Deco style. A
developer has been selected for the project, but because the building is
eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and public
agency approvals are required, the state historic preservation office
(Illinois Historic Preservation Agency) must review the project’s impact on
the historic building.
What You Can Do: To voice concern about the proposed demolition of
the hangar and to voice support for the study of its adaptive re-use,
Dennis Rouleau, Airport Director, Chicago Executive Airport, 1020 South
Plant Road, Wheeling, Illinois 60090 (847.537.2580) (847.537.8183 Fax)
Terrence Schaddel, Airport Planning Engineer & Environmental Officer, IDOT,
Other Contacts: Anne Haaker, Deputy State Historic Preservation officer,
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (217-785-5027),
Photos: 1-3 Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency; 4