We stumbled across a couple photos of the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in the early 1920’s, well before the May Company department store or LACMA, when the barren intersection was home to Rogers Aircraft Inc and its airport. Rogers Airport opened in 1918 with an unpaved 1800 foot east-west runway lined with an assortment of odd buildings including a general office and a line of hangars, seen in the photo above.
According to the website, industrialist Howard Hughes learned to fly at Rogers Airport.
Paul Freeman’s website, Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: California, features photographs from many different airfields across the U.S. It is sponsored by the California Pilots Association “as a reminder that an airport, once lost, is gone forever.”
Rogers airfield is believed to have closed at some point between 1929 and 1931. It was no longer included on the 1931 street map of our area. Aerial photographs from the era show long swaths of empty space all along the Wilshire corridor in 1920. By 1929 it was almost completely built out into single family home plots – now the homes of many of our Buzz readers.
Enjoy the scene from almost 100 years ago, right here on Wilshire and Fairfax.