Then & Now

West Point cadets and the sex-and-drug ’60s; IBM, Luckey Platt, and ice harvesters; airports, bridges, and those famous ferries. Join us for a look back at the last 100 years of Valley history


(page 12 of 20)

Outside Stewart AirportReprinted with permission from Newburgh by Kevin Barrett

Archie's Airport

Then: In the early 1930s, sensing an imminent aviation boom, Thomas Archibald “Archie” Stewart convinced his uncle Sam to deed a portion of his land to the city of Newburgh to build an airport. The moniker “Stewart” has appeared as part of this Valley institution’s official title ever since. Beginning in World War II, the Army (and later the Air Force) used the airfield for military purposes; the 52 Americans detained in Iran during the 1979-1981 hostage crisis returned home on a flight that landed at Stewart. In 1990, the airport began offering commercial service.

Stewart airport as it looks todayPhotograph courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey





Now: After an eight-year-long, ultimately unsuccessful privatization attempt by the British company National Express Group, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took control of Stewart in 2007, hoping to make the facility “the fourth New York City airport.” Although Stewart is not yet the commercial success many have wanted it to be — Air Tran suspended service there this fall — the Port Authority hopes to attract more domestic airlines and begin offering flights to Europe in the coming years. They also plan to make Stewart the world’s first carbon negative airport, meaning that it will actually cause a net reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases released into the environment.


If you like what you see here, check out, the Web site of Arcadia Publishing. The leading publisher of history books in the U.S., the company generously supplied many of the vintage photographs for this article. Their list includes a large number of titles that profile Valley cities, towns, and other popular locations.


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Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley


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