Fly back to golden age of travel at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Photo courtesy of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Travel through the history of flight in a spacious museum featuring aircraft, memorabilia, uniforms, and more items from aviation history at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.

Housed in the old Houston Municipal Airport terminal building on the west side of the William P. Hobby Airport, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum works to preserve and showcase Houston’s rich aviation history

Comprised of several galleries with cases containing aviation memorabilia, such as silver service items, models, documents, and photographs, the collections are housed in the original art deco building which served as the first purpose-built terminal for passenger flight in Houston.

Photo: 365 Houston

Built in (you guessed it) 1940, the air terminal was designed by Houston’s City Hall architect, Joseph Finger, and is among the few surviving examples of classic art deco airport architecture that served Houston during the years when travelers dressed their best and embarked for destinations aboard roaring prop liners.

Today, visitors can check out more surviving examples in Hobby’s oldest airport hanger, the 1929 Great Silver Fleet Maintenance Hanger, which holds two simulators and the museum’s historic aircraft collections, including a 1943 Lockheed Lodestar executive business liner, a S-58 Sikorsky Helicopter, a DC-6 nose, and other large exhibits.

Photo courtesy of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Planespotting at the Museum

Planespotters and aviation enthusiasts are welcome at the museum.

The museum’s parking lot offers a great venue for watching the activity of Hobby airport, in the shadow of the original terminal that started it all.

If you plan to spend time outside the museum building, the staff only asks that you let them know you’ll be out, and for approximately how long.

To learn more about planespotting around Hobby and the other airports in the Houston area, visit

1940 Air Terminal Museum

Photo courtesy of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum
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Cody Swann is a writer and musician born and raised in Houston. When he isn't recording or touring the country with his band, Wild Moccasins, he can be found covering live music and arts events for 365 Things to Do in Houston.