National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University Building
Reference Number 13000827
State Illinois
County Cook
Town Chicago
Street Address 1338-1342 South Michigan Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/16/2013
Areas of Significance EDUCATION, ETHNIC HERITAGE/Black
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The Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University Building is locally significant under National Register Criterion A as the home of the Curtiss- Wright Aeronautical University, the first accredited flight school in the Midwest to admit black students and to hire black instructors. During the early 1900s, Chicago emerged as a center for black aviation rivaled only by Los Angeles. The Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University served as an important entry point for many of the country's pioneering black pilots, who went on to play important roles in the promotion and expansion of black aviation in the United States and abroad. The building at 1338-1342 South Michigan Avenue is also one ofthe last known remaining structures associated with the rise of Chicago's black aviation community during the 1920s and 1930s. The building is significant under the themes of education and cultural heritage of black Americans with a period of significance extending from 1929 through 1953, mirroring the occupancy of the Aeronautical University.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria