Chicago’s Midway Airport

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Bill Leff explores the rich legacy of Chicago’s Midway airport with Christopher Lynch.  He’s written two books including When Hollywood Landed at Chicago’s Midway Airport The Photos & Stories of Mike Rotunno and Chicago’s Midway Airport: The First Seventy-five Years

He’ll be appearing at the Oriole Park branch of the Chicago Public Library at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19th.


Aerial view of the Chicago Municipal Airport showing the old and the new field bisected by railroad tracks. A passenger aboard a TWA Skyclub plane noticed a snail-like image crossing the center of the field. Upon landing, he learned that it was a freight train. Bewildered, the passenger left the depot wondering whether Chicago will have one useful airport or two useless ones. (Chicago Tribune archive photo)

1 Comment

  • edh

    Growing up in Chicago, going to Midway airport was the highlight of my week. I had loved flying and airplanes ever since a very young age, (Toddler) my dad had always been instrumental in me catching the bug and shared in my passion for flying. After church on Sunday's we would head to Midway to spend time on the observation deck watching airplanes. I remember in particular the flights going to Hawaii. In those day's the passengers walked out on to the ramp to climb the boarding stairs to get on a Lockheed L 188 Electra, as the passengers were boarding you would here the Hawaiian music playing and see the Flight Attendants wearing Leis and passing them out to the passengers, to me as a young kid it seemed like worlds away. Later on I saved my money and purchased a multi-band radio kit from Allied Radio, which was the first and largest electronics store in Chicago in the 60"s. Soon I could here the tower and and pilots talking I was hooked. A couple of years later we ventured out to the Hinsdale Airport, to inquire about Flying Lessons. In 1966, after 3 paper routes and a being a bus boy after school at the old Court House restaurant, I obtained my Private Pilot License. I have been a pilot for 47 years now and spent 30 of those years flying for American Airlines. To this day I still get excited every time I drive by Midway Airport, My dad passed way a few years ago, but I will never forget those Sunday afternoons and the time we spent on the Observation Deck at Midway Airport. Thanks Dad

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