Monday, June 1, 2009

Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall and Early Aviation History

The Roosevelt Field Mall, located in the Long Island suburb of Garden City, NY, is the second largest shopping mall in the state of New York and eighth in the country.

It is a beautiful, modernized mall offering Bloomingdale's, JC Penney, Macy's, Nordstrom, Dick's Sporting Goods and more than 270 specialty stores, including Aeropostale, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, The Disney Store, Gap, The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Coach, Betsey Johnson, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pottery Barn, Sephora, and many more.
I believe the most interesting fact about this mall, however, is that it is located on land that was once considered the world's premier airport during the 1920's and 30's and was considered the "cradle of American aviation."

It was constructed on the site of, and named for, Roosevelt Field, an airport and military airfield where Charles Lindbergh took off on his historic first trans-Atlantic flight on May 20. 1927 in his plane called "The Spirit Of St. Louis," and landed in Paris France 33 1/2 hours later.
Click on to enlarge the photos below to read the plaque that is located in the mall that explains some of the history of the land the mall is located on.

The greatest aviators from all over America and Europe came to this field in Long Island to show their latest flying machines, race, set records and win prize money. As an airfield, the land served as the take-off site of many famous aviators such as Amelia Earhart and Wiley Post, and their likenesses, among others, could be seen in an interesting mural outside a store undergoing renovation that displayed some renditions of the aviation history of Roosevelt Field.

I separated the mural into five images in case you'd like to look at some of the details:






Click on to enlarge the photo below and see if you can see a feature in the food court in the mall that appears to be another vehicle of early aviation. It is a zeppelin!


It is astonishing to think that land with such a historical background is now a shopping mall, but nearby the Roosevelt Field Mall is The Cradle of Aviation Museum, located on Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, NY which is preserving some of that history. The year 2009 will mark the centennial of the first flight on Long Island when Glenn Curtiss flew his "Golden Flyer" over the Hempstead Plains during the summer of 1909, and the museum is planning a year long celebration of Long Island's role in aerospace history with a series of events to commemorate this historic event.

To read more about the history of early aviation in Long Island on the museum's web site click here, also The Long Island Early Fliers Club has many interesting articles and photos from that era and a list of past and present Long Island aircraft manufacturers and aircraft.

23 comments:

Tara said...

Pat

How funny to see R Field here--my fave place to shop! You just buzz around doing what you need to do and forget about the history....thanks for pointing it out to me again!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Oh, Pat..you really brought me back with this. Having grown up in Freeport on Long Island, this was where I cut my shopping teeth, so to speak. This was a great post. Thank you.
♥, Susan

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

For a person who hates to shop...
I've been to a lot of Malls lately!
LOL! :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

As always, a tour filled with history. I'm not much of mall lover, but you put together another great post.

Queenmothermamaw said...

It looks like a piece of a wing maybe in the ceiling of that food court. This was an amazing post today. The mural idea, to break it up was great. Thanks for sharing.
QMM

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

Thanks for the history and interesting article. I can't believe no one commented on the "lack of people" in the Mall. I must fall in to the great majority as I am not in the shopping much these days either!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

We need to be reminded of the history of the places we frequent...and you do a wonderful job of it. How interesting to hear the story behind one of largest malls in the USA.

Junie Moon said...

What a great way to see aviation history. Over the years I've visited many such places, but not yours. My dad would have loved the one you shared today. Thank you!

Betsy said...

Hey, Pat! My oldest is in NYC on his senior trip right now! He's having a great time! :)

Paz said...

Nice photos of a nice-looking place.

Paz

Lynn said...

Thank you for another great tour of NYC!!

Ken Mac said...

love the title of your blog...even before I knew what it meant!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This reallly looks like a wonderful place to shop, Pat! I need to get out more. I've been on a buying break, but this makes me want to spend, spend, spend! But shhhhhhhhhh... don't tell Mr. Magpie!

XO,

Sheila :-)

M.Kate said...

Beautiful places and people everywhere Pat..

Lynn said...

PS go to my blog for an award.

Mama said...

Oh 33 and a half hours to cross the pond lol, I am glad flights are faster now, but how cool to have this history and that looks like an air ship above the sushi shop.

The mural is so interesting and should be a permanent fixture. I do enjoy shopping lol, but sometimes these malls are a bit overwhelming (must be getting old haha), hope you have a wonderful week Pat, Hayley says thank you so much for her bday wishes, hugs, Kathy.

Brenda said...

Another great post, Pat. (I loved the mural!)

Joanne Kennedy said...

Wow! That place is wild. Love the look of the food court and that mural was so pretty. So detailed.

Thanks for posting this.

Hugs,
Joanne

Melanie said...

Hia Pat like you I think why couldn't such an important site for aviation history not have been protected as a field with "sheds" to show things like the photographs and house planes. I think I am too much of a historian to appreciate another mall at the expense of losing that history. A lot of it happenshere in Southport too which makes me really appreciate going home to Oxford where nearly every stone could tell a tale.

steviewren said...

I've come to the conclusion that there is a history lesson on every street corner of NY city and in every suburb too.

That is a huge mall. A girl could get her days exercise shopping there.

Bellamere Cottage said...

What a great tour! I didn't know ANY of that...thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Spencer

Claudia said...

Know Roosevelt Field so well - I am sending this to my mother- think this was her favorite place in the world when she lived on Long Island.