Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Floyd Bennett Field: Hangars 3 & 4 Steam Plant

Floyd Bennett Field was New York City's first municipal airfield; from its opening in 1931 until the unveiling of LaGuardia in 1939, it was the only one. Decommissioned in 1971, control of the field passed to the National Parks Service, for inclusion in the Gateway National Recreation Area. The hangars nearest to Flatbush Avenue, eight original hangars spread amongst four buildings, were designated a historic district, as was the original administration building.

However, the NPS has not done a very good of keeping the property up. While hangars 5-8 were adapted for reuse as a sports complex, arguably compromising their historic character, hangars 1-4 have been left to rot.

Here is a glimpse into the steam plant which powered hangars 3 & 4; notes and remnants remain which allow one to trace its use into the late 60s, at which point it was apparently decommissioned as the airfield sputtered into disuse.

Three boilers provided steam for the pair of hangars.

On the side of one of the boilers, a worker has solved a math equation.

Fuseboxes for boilers 2 and 3.

A red steam control valve sits under some asbestos insulation sloughing off a connected pipe.

Switches to control the blower, compressor, and oil pump.

A workers' log notes issues with maintenance of the burners and boilers.

Some yellow liquid remains in a glass tube attached to another steam valve.

A square pressure gauge at the head of one of the boilers.


ASM826 said...

In the last photo, it's not a pressure gauge, it's a thermostat. It says Fahrenheit below the scale.

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