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Historic Ford Hangar

Great American Rail-Trail

Architecture Commerce, Economy & Work Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine

Inside the Ford Hangar with a look at the large grids of windows lining the building and a small aircraft.

Lansing is home to the Ford hangar, designed by Albert Kahn in 1926 for the Ford Motor Company. At the time, Ford had an aviation unit and built airplanes with plans to make them as readily available as its cars. Henry Ford, the company’s famous founder, developed a single-seat airplane called the Ford Flivver, which he hoped would become the “Model-T of the Air.” Ultimately the Ford Flivver failed to take off, but the company succeeded in manufacturing Ford Trimotor aircrafts and B-24 aircrafts for World War II. Ford continued to use the hangar to connect its factories in Dearborn, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio, to Lansing. [1,3]

Kahn’s design for the hangar includes innovative features that inspired future airport terminals. By including large glass windows and an indoor waiting area, passengers experienced a more comfortable wait, bathed in natural daylight and protected from outdoor elements. Before these innovations, travelers would wait in dark, closed-in barns or out on the airport tarmac. [1]

The Lansing Historical Society and Lansing Municipal Airport are making efforts to renovate the Ford Hangar. Due to its location and proximity to an active airport, please exercise caution when visiting. [2]

 

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