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Opa-locka Company Administration Building | Abandoned Florida

Glenn Curtiss, 1909
Glenn Curtiss, 1909

Glenn Curtiss, “The Father of Naval Aviation”

Glenn Hammond Curtiss was born on Might 21, 1878 in Hammondsport, New York. Though his formal schooling solely prolonged solely to eighth grade, his early curiosity in mechanics and innovations was evident at his first job on the Eastman Dry Plate and Movie Firm (later Eastman Kodak Firm). Whereas working there, he invented a stencil machine adopted on the plant and later constructed a rudimentary digital camera to review images.

Curtiss started his profession as a Western Union bicycle messenger, a bicycle racer, and bicycle-shop proprietor. His pursuits shifted in the direction of bikes as internal-combustion engines turned extra out there. He started manufacturing bikes in 1902 together with his personal single-cylinder engines. His first motorbike’s carburetor was constructed out of a tomato soup can and a gauze display to tug the gasoline up by capillary motion.

In 1903, he set a motorbike land velocity report at 64 miles per hour for one mile. On January 24, 1907, Curtiss set an unofficial world document of 136.36 miles per hour, on a 40 horsepower V-Eight-powered motorbike of his personal design and development in Ormond Seashore, Florida. His motorbike document was not damaged till 1930.

In 1904, Curtiss turned a provider of engines for the California “aeronaut” Tom Baldwin. In that very same yr, Baldwin’s California Arrow, powered by a Curtiss 9 HP V-twin motorbike engine, turned the primary profitable dirigible in America.

Alexander Graham Bell regarded Curtiss as “the best motor skilled within the nation” and invited him to hitch his Aerial Experiment Affiliation (AEA) to develop an appropriate engine for heavier-than-air flight experimentation. Of the 4 plane produced by the AEA, Curtiss primarily designed their third plane, Aerodrome #three, also referred to as the June Bug. On July Four, 1908, Curtiss flew 5,080 ft throughout a public occasion, making it the primary formally witnessed flight in North America. As soon as the AEA disbanded in 1909, he shaped his owned firm, the Herring-Curtiss Firm, in affiliation with Augustus Herring.

Glenn Curtiss at the controls of the Aerodrome #3 June Bug, June 4, 1908Glenn Curtiss on the controls of the Aerodrome #3June Bug, June Four, 1908

Curtiss took half within the Grande Semaine d’Aviation aviation assembly at Reims, France in August 1909. Flying his Reims Racer, primarily a modified June Bug design, he gained the general velocity occasion, the Gordon Bennett Cup, finishing the 12.5-mile course in slightly below 16 minutes at a velocity of 46.5 mph. On Might 29, 1910, Curtiss flew from Albany to New York Metropolis to make the primary long-distance flight between two main cities within the U.S

In June 1910, Curtiss offered a simulated bombing demonstration to naval officers at Hammondsport. Two months later, Curtiss served a pilot throughout an indication on the feasibility of capturing at targets on the bottom from an plane. In September, he educated Blanche Stuart Scott, who was probably the primary American lady pilot.

On the finish of 1910, Curtiss established a winter encampment at San Diego to show flying to Military and Naval personnel. Right here, he educated Lt. Theodore Ellyson, who turned U.S. Naval Aviator #1, and three different Military officers within the first army aviation faculty. The unique website of this winter encampment is now a part of Naval Air Station North Island and is referred to by the Navy as “The Birthplace of Naval Aviation”.

Throughout that winter, Curtiss developed a pontoon design that enabled him to take off and land on water. On January 26, 1911, he flew the primary seaplane from the water in the USA. In July 1911, Curtiss bought the U.S. Navy their first plane, the A-1 Triad. The A-1, which was primarily a seaplane, was outfitted with retractable wheels, additionally making it the primary amphibious plane. As a result of Curtiss educated the Navy’s first pilots and constructed their first plane, he’s thought-about within the USA to be “The Father of Naval Aviation”.

Glenn Curtiss testing the A-1 Triad. Additionally pictured are naval aviators Lieutenant John McClaskey, Paul W. Beck, Lieutenant John H. Towers, and Lieutenant Theodore Ellyson.

Throughout World Struggle I, the USA anticipated they might be drawn into the battle. The Military’s Aviation Part, U.S. Sign Corps ordered the event of a easy, easy-to-fly-and-maintain, two-seat coach. Curtiss created the JN-Four “Jenny” for the Military, and the N-9 seaplane model for the Navy, and have been a few of the most well-known merchandise of the Curtiss firm. Civilian and army plane demand boomed, and the corporate grew to make use of 18,000 staff in Buffalo and three,000 staff in Hammondsport.

In 1917, the U.S. Navy commissioned Curtiss to design an plane able to lengthy ocean flights, each for anti-submarine warfare patrol, and if potential with the potential to fly throughout the Atlantic Ocean beneath its personal energy to keep away from having to be shipped by way of ocean waters. Curtiss designed one of many largest biplane designed but, the Curtiss NC. Probably the most well-known of those flying boats was the NC-Four, the primary airplane to make a transatlantic flight and is presently preserved within the Nationwide Museum of Naval Aviation, at NAS Pensacola, Florida.

Peace introduced an finish to wartime contracts and in September 1920, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Firm underwent a monetary reorganization. Glenn Curtiss cashed out his inventory within the firm for $32 million and retired to Florida.

Whereas in Florida, he based 18 firms, served on civic commissions, and donated in depth land and water rights. He co-developed the town of Hialeah with James Vibrant and developed the cities of Opa-locka and Miami Springs. His frequent searching journeys into the Florida Everglades additionally led to a ultimate invention, the Adams Motor “Bungalo“, a forerunner of the modern-day RV.

Shortly earlier than his dying, the Wright Aeronautical Company, merged with the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Firm on July 5, 1929, forming the Curtiss-Wright firm. Whereas in courtroom to contest a lawsuit introduced by his former enterprise associate August Herring, Curtiss suffered an assault of appendicitis. He died on July 23, 1930, in Buffalo, New York, of problems from an appendectomy.

Opa-locka Company administration building, circa 1920sThe Opa-locka Firm administration constructing, circa 1920s

Opa-locka, the “Baghdad of Dade County”

In the course of the Florida land growth of the 1920s, Curtiss based the Opa-locka venture on Four.2 acres in Miami-Dade County. He named the event “Opa-tisha-wocka-locka”, which meant “an enormous island coated with many timber and swamps,” however shortened it to Opa-locka. Architect Bernhardt Emil Muller was employed to design the city within the themes of an “Arabian Fantasy” or “Arabian Nights.”

Muller designed 86 buildings in Opa-locka in a Moorish Revival fashion. The buildings parts embrace onion-shaped domes, minarets, crenelated parapets, Saracenic arches, watchtowers, mosaic tile, and outside spiral staircases. The streets have been additionally given Arabian-related names, akin to Ali Baba Avenue, Sinbad Avenue, Sharazad Avenue, Caliph Road,and Aladdin Road. Curtiss is claimed to have boasted now and again that he was creating the “Baghdad of Dade County.”

The Administration Constructing was constructed because the headquarters for the Opa-locka Firm, the event and gross sales firm established by Curtiss for the undertaking. The constructing was impressed by the palace of the Emperor Kosroushah from the story of “The Speaking Hen” and included a courtyard impressed by the “Backyard of the Princess Periezade.” It will later be used as Opa-locka’s metropolis corridor.

The 1926 Miami hurricane struck in September of that yr, destroying most of the of the unique Moorish-style buildings and placing an finish to the Florida Land Growth. After Curtiss’ dying, his dream of Opa-locka died with him.

Opa-locka Company Administration building, circa 1920sOpa-locka Firm Administration constructing, circa 1920s

World Conflict II introduced large-scale army aviation to Opa-locka. The airport Curtiss constructed turned a Naval aviation and airship mooring base in 1930. The Navy modified the unique park, golf course, archery membership and swimming pool for army utilization. The inflow of army personnel introduced the development of a number of flats and different buildings not in line with the town’s unique theme. When the airbase was decommissioned in 1963, Opa-locka’s financial system turned depressed.

In 1959, Bernhardt E. Muller returned to Opa-locka for the primary time because the 1920s to seek out his and Curtiss’ metropolis of goals ruined. Many buildings of his design have been both alters or demolished and located a set of plain, unappealing buildings, which he sought to keep away from whereas designing the town. In an handle to the town’s Chamber of Commerce, he tried convincing the officers to stop Opa-Locka from turning into a “meaningless jumble of unrelated buildings, painted in hideous colours” and to proceed with Curtiss’ dream. Whereas his intent was to encourage them to take motion, it as an alternative offended native officers.

Heading into the 21st century, the town by no means improved. Opa-locka has been declared some of the harmful cities within the nation with a few of the highest violent crime charges per capita and has been described as being “mired in crime and sinking quick.” The Opa-locka Police Division are undermanned, underpaid, driving donated police cruisers and headquarters leaks rainwater and grows mould.

The town authorities as an entire can also be rife with corruption. The FBI had been investigating into the corruption since 2013 and raided the town corridor in 2016. They discovered the town had wasted tens of millions of dollars on unnecessary events, fancy meals, and SUV journeys, and draining metropolis coffers. By then, a number of officers had already been convicted of felony expenses, lots of which who have been extorting cash from native enterprise house owners. One commissioner dealing with bribery expenses, Terence Pinder, killed himself by driving his SUV right into a tree. As of 2019, the town continues to be in a state of monetary emergency.

On March 22, 1982, the Opa-locka Firm administration constructing was positioned on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations together with nineteen surviving Moorish Revival fashion buildings. The administration constructing was present process a renovation however because of the lack of funds, it was placed on indefinite maintain.

Opa-locka Company administration building, 2019Opa-locka Firm administration constructing, 2019

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