May 4, 2021
When you have been in business for nearly 100 years, you invariably have the opportunity to work in a variety of new markets and industries. Epstein is a prime example of that fact, having supported the growth of the modern food industry in the 20s and 30s, post WWII manufacturing for TV’s and consumer electronics, as well as today in the development of alternative protein products and the quickly expanding cannabis market. But one of the most visually dramatic markets we served during its nascent stage is that of commercial aviation.
The project you see above is from 1933 and shows the nearly completed American Airways Hangar & Headquarters building at Municipal Airport (known today as Meacham International) in Ft. Worth, Texas. This facility, which, when completed, was considered one of the finest airplane hangars in the country. In addition, this facility was constructed during the Great Depression in an incredible 60 days.
That American Airways project was being completed around the same time as we were working on similar hangar/office projects for United Air Lines in Kansas City and Dallas, projects that featured massive 120’ doors that you see in the photo above.
It really is remarkable seeing how much commercial flight has changed since these projects were completed. From the size of the facilities to the intricate automation of baggage handling systems to high-tech security operations, all aspects of air travel that seems normal to us but was almost unimaginable back in the 30s.
Additionally, what’s more than a little pride inducing on our end is that we really have been a major contributor to the growth of commercial aviation from these initial airline hangars to today, where we have designed, engineered and delivered entirely new airports, new terminals and concourses, security halls, concessions programs, baggage systems, runways/taxiways, and power generator facilities, among many others.