Just next to Floyd Bennett Field sits Dead Horse Bay, which was once a separate island known as Barren Island, before the area was landfilled to create Floyd Bennett Field. In 1859, the first horse rendering plants were constructed on Barren Island, which processed dead horses into glue, ew. This was seen as a better alternative to the ongoing practice, where horses were simply left to rot and decompose on New York City’s streets. Can you imagine that still happening today? I definitely can’t. Originally, Barren Island was considered ideal for this because it was so remote, nobody would complain about the smell. Barren Island was also used to deal with the city’s garbage problem. The stench, which could reach a radius of six to ten miles, would waft over to beachgoers on Manhattan Beach where hotel evacuations would occur. Unsurprisingly, neighbouring communities began complaining and locals formed the Anti-Barren Island League. The landfill ceased operation in the 1940s.
I've become really interested in the historical facts surrounding some areas in NY like Barren Island and so I wanted to share. In May of 1927 Charles Lindbergh flew non-stop from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Paris. Billed as the New York to Paris flight, it actually took place outside of the city limits. New York City wanted an airport within the city limits. A city panel selected Barren Island in Brooklyn as the location for New York's first municipal airport and it was named Floyd Bennett Field. Floyd Bennett was the naval pilot for Commander Richard E. Byrd's flight over the North Pole in 1926. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Floyd Bennett Field was dedicated on May 23, 1931. It was rated A-1-A, the highest classification of the Civil Aeronautics Board. Floyd Bennett Field was a popular site for aviators who were seeking to break records. Twenty-six around the world or transatlantic flights started or ended at Floyd Bennett Field between 1931 and 1939. New York City found a more convenient location for a municipal airport that was closer to transportation. Municipal Airport, now known as LaGuardia Airport, opened in 1939. The city sold Floyd Bennett Field to the U.S. Navy. On June 2, 1941, Naval Air Station New York was dedicated at Floyd Bennett Field. With the U.S. scaling back the Vietnam War effort, Floyd Bennett Field was no longer needed. In 1971, the U.S. Navy deactivated the Field. Soon thereafter, the National Park Service made the location part of Gateway NRA.
Floyd Bennett Field, 1 Aviation Rd, New York, New York 11234, United States