Rededication of NEW historic airport terminal slated

A rededication ribbon cutting ceremony for the historic Airport Terminal Building at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport (NEW) will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m., according to officials with the Orleans Levee District Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority announced.

Devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, this original structure of classic Art Deco design completed in 1933 was one of the first of its kind to operate in the United States during the “Golden Age of Aviation.”

1. Shushan Airport. Terminal Control Tower and Passenger Entrance 1934The level of destruction caused by the storm surge provided the incentive to return the airport’s terminal building to its original design, which had been hidden beneath a contemporary renovation completed in 1964 that included a façade constructed around its exterior and interior, protecting WPA era craftsmanship and artwork, according to officials.

The terminal restoration is accompanied by the ongoing replacement of business and corporate aircraft hangars also damaged by the hurricane.

Funding for the approximately $20 million airport terminal restoration project was provided by FEMA and the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority. Contractors included the architectural firm of Richard C. Lambert Consultants, LLC, under the direction of Senior Architect Alton Ochsner Davis, as well as the Lathan Co. Inc., the BelouMagner, Co., and the Stuart Consulting Group, LLC.

3. Shushan Airport. Terminal Lobby First Floor 1934This celebration recognizes the return and permanent display in the terminal building of the 1933 Xavier Gonzalez mural “Rio” that has been preserved and cared for by the Louisiana State Museum since 1976. This historic mural, one of a series of eight completed for the airport in 1933, was removed from the terminal lobby during the 1964 renovation and will be remounted for public viewing in its original position.

The Non-Flood Authority would also like to recognize the participation of the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library, Louisiana and Special Collections Division for providing historic photographs of the airport terminal and, through permanent loan, the original 1933 airport dedication plaque, which will also be redisplayed in the terminal lobby.

In 1964, “Lakefront” was added to the airport name to better emphasize its location and mission of supporting business, corporate, and recreational flying for the residents of South Louisiana and the city of New Orleans.

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