Hangars in Cahokia make it on national historic register

July 12, 2007

Jul. 11--The Curtiss-Wright Hangars at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia have been named on the National Register of Historical Places by the National Park Service.

The hangars were placed on the list because of their association with aviation and military history.

"This is a prestigious recognition for Cahokia," said Illinois Historic Preservation Agency director Robert Coomer.

The Curtiss-Wright Hangars were built in 1928 at the Curtiss-Steinberg Airport, later Bi-State Parks Airport and now known as the St. Louis Downtown Airport.

The airport was developed by a business consortium than included Mark Steinberg, a St. Louis financier; Curtiss-Wright, an aircraft and engine manufacturing firm; the Transcontinental Air Transport Service, which later became TWA and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

In the early 1940s Oliver Parks operated a flight school out of the Curtiss-Wright Hangars. The Parks Flight School was the first federally approved school of aeronautics and about 15 percent of all American pilots during WWII were trained there.

For more information about the National Register of Historic Places program in Illinois, visit www.Illinois-History.gov/PS/historicplaces.htm.

To see more of the Belleville News-Democrat, Ill., or to subscribe, visit http://www.belleville.com. Copyright (c) 2007, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.