www.janelmer.com - 3D models and renders by Jan Elmer
www.janelmer.com - 3D models and renders by Jan Elmer

Before there was an LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) or Burbank (Bob Hope) International Airport, there was Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale California. It opened in 1929. Grand Central Air Terminal was the first major airport in the Los Angeles area. Indeed, it was the first Airport for many of the major airlines we have today. It was first airport to have a paved runway and the FIRST to offer transcontinental flights across the nation. It was the birthplace of commercial aviation as we know it today! TWA was born here, Charles Lindbergh flew from Grand Central, as well as Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, William John "Jack" Frye (TWA President), and many more. Grand Central Air Terminal is truly an historic landmark!

The rendering below did not include the vintage aircraft. I added it in later.

The airport supported aircraft up to the size of the DC-2/DC-3. As larger aircraft were developed the Airport lost out to nearby Burbank Airport which had longer runways.

Beside the terminal building was a coffee shop and an upstairs restaurant. The restaurant upstairs had a dance floor where customers could enjoy an excellent dinner, dance, and watch the planes take off and land from their upstairs window. Later, the upstairs area was converted to the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute and Cal-Aero training facilities.

Another view of the terminal building with a Northrob Alpha YC-19 aircraft. These aircraft were supplied for evaluation to the USAAC. No production orders were given. There was a six passengers version used for civilian transport.

This is a night view of what Grand Central Air Terminal might have looked like at night time.

Another view at night featuring a TWA Ford Trimotor. Timeframe - early 1930s.

DC-3s Landing at Grand Central Air Terminal. Late 1930s Timeframe. DC-3s were produced in Long Beach California. I worked at Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) in the mid 80s and walked many of the manufacturing facilities there.

This is a "Dusk" view of the Grand Central Air Terminal neon sign.

Disney owns the building and has plans to renovate it as part of a master planned business park.

For major scenes, I do lots of research and use various photos to help with the pre-production conceptual work. It helps to go on location to gain inspiration! If there is no historical information available to study, I do not recreate it in my art.