Original Port Columbus Terminal and Tower

Written/Photography By: Andrew Livelsberger

One of the fist airports in the United States, the original Port Columbus Air Terminal was dedicated July 8, 1929.  The Great Depression hurt profitability and operations of this facility, but the airport started running mail service in 1930 and a huge contract from the Curtis-Wright corporation in 1940 that helped keep it going.

The US Government overtook operation of this terminal in 1941.  The terminal continued operations in this building until the newer, and still running terminal took over flights on September 21, 1958.

I drive by this building almost daily.  It is located on 5th Avenue and butts right up to the now current John Glenn International Airport.  For the longest time, I’ve wanted to stop in and check out the signage, get pictures and write up a story.   I didn’t know much about the place other than the fact that it was once the original Port Columbus Terminal.

The building is currently in pretty sad shape.   Some parts are overgrown by plants, parts of the concrete staircases are crumbling, windows and doors have seen better days.   Even a peek inside the windows shows that the inside has been pretty much stripped of all it once was.

Back in 2015, there were rumblings that Heartland Bank may buy the property, renovate it and use it as office space.  Reports at the time were listing the building revitalization around $1.8 million dollars. Further searches provided no additional information, but Heartland Bank has build a new facility about a mile away on Hamilton Road.  It appears that this building will stay vacant a bit longer.

During my quick visit there, I was greeted by Airport Police patrols.
Talking with the officer, he just wanted to let me know that they do monitor the building and check on it regularly because they have had issues with vandals defacing the building in the past.

I let him know what I was there for and he left me to finish my coverage.

I’m not sure who currently owns or looks after the property.
I do hope that someone or some organization gathers enough funds to restore the building.  It would make for a great aviation museum or a meeting facility, perhaps renting it out to businesses or for private events.

Hopefully the building will remain standing long into the future.

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