Washington National Airport Terminal and South Hangar Line

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The Washington National Airport Terminal and South Hangar Line represents a milestone in American aviation architecture, technology, and New Deal government initiatives. Although born of wartime need, National was the first federally constructed commercial airport in the country designed for civilian flight. The terminal building, opened in 1941, was initially designed by Howard Lovewell Cheney, with subsequent participation by Charles M. Goodman and Harbin S. Chandler, Jr., and is a landmark of stripped classicism. Its footprint, plan, massing, and control tower for many years served as a model for airport design. The South Hangar Line, built in stages between 1941 and 1948, represents an important technological advance in hangar construction, using long-span steel construction, structural concrete, and combination sliding-leaf and canopy hangar doors. With many of its original features and details intact, the renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, located on the banks of the Potomac River in Arlington County, remains a proud gateway to the nation’s capital.

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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