Whenever the subject of air travel or airports in Arlington is raised, it is perhaps inevitable that talk of National Airport will dominate any discussion. A glance through decades past, however, reveals the interesting story of Hoover Airport, Arlington’s first airfield.
Located in a pasture at the south end of the 14th Street Bridge on land now chiefly occupied by the Pentagon, Hoover Airport opened in 1926. Curiously enough, the following year saw another airport, Washington Airport, open virtually next door to Hoover on grounds previously housing a race track and horse show. After four years, the two combined services and became a single enterprise operating under the name Hoover Airport.
Diminutive even by 1930 standards, Hoover Airport had a single 2,400 foot runway which was intersected at mid-point by a road which had to be chained off by guards when the aircraft were landing or taking off. As advances were rapidly being made in the field of aviation, the shortcomings of Hoover Airport soon became apparent. In 1938, ground was broken at Gravelly Point, located at the Potomac’s edge where the Abingdon estate had been, and by 1941, Washington National Airport was open for business and Hoover Airport was no more.
What About You?
What are your memories regarding air travel from and to Arlington? Let us know what you remember!