Chicago - City of Broad Shoulders

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

Meigs Field – Preserved in Google Earth

Meigs Field in Google EarthMeigs 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.’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.

Video on the effort to save Meigs

  1. Meigs Field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    [edit]. Meigs Field Runway a few days after destruction ordered by Mayor Daley. In 1994, Mayor Richard M. Daley ...

  2. Meigs Field closing marks 10th anniversary |

    Mar 29, 2013 – Ten years ago a fleet of bulldozers conducted what amounted to a midnight raid on Chicago's Meigs Airport.
  3. Images for meigs field closed

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  4. Meigs Field closed~~Crews dig up runway in middle of the night

    Mar 31, 2003 – A spokeswoman for Governor Rod Blagojevich says they didn't know about the Meigs Field closing ahead of time. But spokeswoman Cheryle ...

  5. Meigs Field is Dead - Jetwhine

    Jan 22, 2013 – It was no surprise then in 1996 when Daley closed Meigs Field. To this day, I still tell Steve Whitney that he and his FOM directors are some of ...

  6. Friends of Meigs Field

    Meanwhile, you are invited to join us on the ground outside the Meigs Field terminal building (now mostly closed to the public). We will be creating a memorial ...

  7. Chicago Mayor Bulldozes A Small Downtown Airport - New York ... › COLLECTIONS › RUNWAY

    Apr 1, 2003 – Friends of Meigs Field, a group of businessmen and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, had long fought its closing, contending that the ...

  8. AOPA Online: Mayor Daley bulldozes Chicago's Meigs Field

    Mar 31, 2003 – Some 16 aircraft are stranded on the field. A city source told the ...The Meigs control tower had no idea about the closingClosing the airport ...

  9. New mayor, new Meigs? - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

    Sep 9, 2010 – “AOPA fought hard first to prevent the closure of Meigs Field and then to pressure the mayor to reopen it. With new leadership coming to ...

  10. Articles about Meigs Field - Chicago Tribune › Featured Articles

    We have never used Meigs Field and probably never will, but it would be a shame to close this facility, which is so busy and vital to our city's business community ...

  11. Meigs Field Commemorated 10 Years After Closing | Flying Magazine

    Mar 26, 2013 – It will feature a memorial outside the former terminal, which is now mostly closed to the public, according to Friends of Meigs Field.