This course is about Chicago, We will cover the history of the city and region, the politics, corruption, arts, plans, neighborhoods, humor, achievements and the future of the City.
Meigs Field – Preserved in Google Earth
MARCH 15, 2007
Meigs Field was a wonderful little airport near downtown Chicago – beloved to millions of Microsoft Flight Simulator users since it had been the default airport since the program was first released in the early-80s. Most aviators are quite familiar with the scandalous actions by Mayor Daley of Chicago who had long wanted to close this wonderful little airport. Starting in 1995, Mayor Daley had tried to arrange closing the airport so he could put a park in its place. In 2003, when it was apparent he was in for a long legal battle over the rights to close it, he hired a demolition crew to bulldoze the runway in the middle of the night – stranding 16 planes (which were later allowed to depart via the taxiway). The Mayor was breaking the law when he did this, but he managed to get away with only a minor penalty fee, and the city had to repay $1 Million of FAA money it improperly used to demolish the airport.
Fortunately, you can still see the airport in operation inside Google Earth and Google Maps. Not only that, you can see it in Microsoft’s Virtual Earth (or Live Local), and in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator. I’m hoping Microsoft and Google will continue to show the runway even though it has now been turned into a park. At least we can keep Mayor Daley from the satisfaction of seeing his new park in these popular applications. Ask.com’s aerial map unfortunately shows the new park. Read more about Meigs at Wikipedia (which recounts the actions by Daley in more detail). Also, check out the Friends of Meigs Field web site – they are still trying to get the field turned back into an airport.