A bit of postmodern ruin porn and uplifting adaptive reuse ideas are provided in this post with a listing of those major abandoned commercial airports which no longer (or in some cases never did) see flights.
Some, particularly Croydon, Kai Tak, Robert Mueller, and Stapleton airports have seen successful reuse, while others are slowly decaying or are in varying states of abandoned ruin.
Given the impressive and important history associated with some of these aerodromes – particularly Croydon (WWI, early aviators, and the Battle of Britain), Floyd Bennett (NYC’s first municipal airport), Manston (Battle of Britain), and Templehof (WWII and Berlin Airlift), it is surprising that more of these monuments to aviation history are not more fully preserved and protected as national historic sites or national landmarks.
Sadly, in two cases (Nicosia and Yasser Arafat), strife and political unrest prevent these airports from being reopened and utilized.
For instance, the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport in Austin, Texas, USA was closed and replaced in 1999 by the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The 711 acre site is in the process of being redeveloped as the pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use Mueller Community. One of its first commercial tenants is director Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios.