New signs at Falcon Heights park detail its aviation past

Courtesy of City of Falcon Heights • Signage being installed at Curtiss Field just prior to the city’s Spring Together event on May 12 discusses the park’s history as a Minnesota aviation hub.

By the time the Falcon Heights Community Engagement Commission holds it’s Spring Together event at Curtiss Field on Saturday, May 12, new signage should also be up at the park detailing its aviation past.

Per the signs, which were spearheaded by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission with help of the Minnesota Historical Society and others, in 1919, Curtiss Field was the Curtiss Northwest Airport, named after Glenn Curtiss, an aviation pioneeer and rival of the Wright Brothers.

Located in what was then Rose Township at the intersection of the then-unpaved Snelling and Larpenteur avenues, Curtiss Northwest was the first airport in Minnesota and the center of aviation in the state — one could buy an airplane there, made by Curtiss’s company.

Falcon Heights city clerk and recreation supervisor Tim Sandvik said he helped get the idea for the signage going, speaking to Roger Bergerson, who “literally wrote the book” on the early 20th century airfield, called “Winging it at a Country Crossroads.”

As for the Spring Together event, which will include a potluck meal, games and activities, a bounce house and opportunities to meet neighbors, Sandvik said it’s held at Curtiss Field because of all the nearby apartment housing.

“We find residents who live in apartments engage in fewer programs and services provided by the city,” he said.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be held weather permitting. Curtiss Field is located at 2077 Larpenteur Ave.


— Mike Munzenrider

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