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Friends of Historic New Utrecht presents Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, America’s first airport

November 18, 2016 From Friends of Historic New Utrecht
Floyd Bennett Field in the 1930s. Eagle postcard photo by Rudy Arnold
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Floyd Bennett Field, New York City’s first airport, will be the subject of a lecture by Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish House of the New Utrecht Reformed Church on 18th Avenue and 84th Street in Bensonhurst. The event, sponsored by the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, is free to the public.

Opened in 1931, Floyd Bennett Field, named for a Brooklyn-born aviator, was the city’s first airport and the first in the country built with concrete runways. It was the scene of flights by many of the country’s aviation pioneers such as Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post and Howard Hughes. In 1941, the city transferred the field to the Navy, and during World War II it was one of the Navy’s most active bases. Transferred to the National Park Service in 1972, Floyd Bennett still has an aviation role as the base for the NYPD’s helicopter fleet.

The 1892 Parish House is part of the landmarked campus of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, home to a congregation organized by Dutch settlers in 1677, which also includes the 1827 Church — now undergoing interior repairs and restoration — and the 1783 New Utrecht Liberty Pole. 

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The Dec. 6 lecture is one in a series of free concerts and history-related events offered each year by the Friends of Historic New Utrecht.

The Friends organization’s program of free public events is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and Councilmembers Vincent Gentile and Mark Treyger.

Persons interested in learning more about the lecture and other Friends or activities about New Utrecht’s landmarks can visit www.historicnewutrecht.org.


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