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University of Illinois Airport
University of Illinois Airport
Resource Typeimage
TitleUniversity of Illinois Airport
Coverage / Year1945
DescriptionUniversity of Illinois Willard Airport, Champaign.
InterpretationMomentum to build a University of Illinois airport was launched in early 1942. University president Arthur Cutts Willard asked the Board of Trustees for the university to participate in the proposed airport project on January 24, 1942. Support in the county and the state was widespread. Among several key people who moved the project forward was local attorney August C. Meyer, Champaign News-Gazette publisher Helen Stevick, newspapermen Harold Holmes and Ed Borman; Campus Businessmen's Association lead, Shelby Himes; President of the Twin City Federation of Labor, C. J. Walker; University of Illinois President Willard; State Senator Everett R. Peters of St. Joseph and others. the initial cost of the university airport was $2, 250, 000, of which $750, 000 in State of Illinois funds were matched two for one by the United States Civil Aeronautics Administration. This was the first post-depression construction project in Champaign County in which federal funds were allocated for a non-federally owned property. Construction of the airport was begun on May 31, 1944, under the supervision of James J. Doland, professor of civil engineering at the university. The airport was built on 762 acres of land in Tolono township with a total paved area of 338, 000 square yards--enough concrete to pave twenty-nine miles of highway twenty feet wide. The first building was an old hangar which was moved in from an airport in Arkansas. Dedication of the University of Illinois Airport, held on October 26, 1945, was a major event of the year in Champaign County. the exemplary cooperative effort by many public-spirited Champaign County citizens, the university administration, and local, state, and federal governments, led to the development of the largest university airport in the world.
Lesson Plans / ThemesUrban Treasure Hunt;
Learning Standards16 History; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
SourceUniversity of Illinois Archives (Photo sources BUI)
Subject / KeywordsAirports; Airplanes; Buildings; Champaign County, Illinois; Champaign, Illinois;
Collection PublisherUIUC Digital Imaging & Media Technology Initiative
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifierart4001
CONTENTdm file name64022171572002_airport.jpg
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