Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Coleman A. Young International Airport

This facility opened as Detroit City Airport Terminal on Oct. 14, 1927. It was designed by Perry A. Fellows and built by W. E. Wood Co.

In 1922, city officials conducted a search for an airport site, eventually settling on a 263-acre location near Conner Creek on the city’s east side. Five years later, the Detroit City Airport Terminal was formally dedicated, with the first aircraft landing at the airport on October 14, 1927. In 1929, the first hangar was erected and by the 1930s Detroit City Airport was the premiere airport in the Detroit area.

The facility served as metro Detroit's primary airport until 1947, when Willow Run Airport -- and later Wayne County Metropolitan Airport (now known as Detroit Metro Airport) took over the majority of flights. This shift was caused, in part, because of the airport's proximity to Gethsemane Cemetery, which prevented adding suitable runways for larger commercial aircraft.

Following the opening of the suburban airfields, Detroit City Airport focused mostly on pilot training and handling private and corporate flights, though commercial flights continued to use the terminal until 2000. It was renamed after Coleman A. Young, the city's longest-serving and first African-American mayor, in 2003.

The airport remains home to many private and corporate jets.

More on this building soon.