Side A: In 1915, Congress formed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to coordinate aircraft research in the United States. The NACA built three research laboratories: Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory (AERL), now the Glenn Research Center. Construction for AERL’s Cleveland, Ohio location began in 1941 in a field next to the Cleveland Municipal Airport used for parking during the National Air Races of the 1930s. The research campus’ roads followed the semi-circular pattern of the air races’ parking roads. Operations began in 1942 with Edward Sharp as the first director. In 1948, AERL was renamed the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in honor of George Lewis, NACA’s Director of Aeronautical Research for over twenty years.
Side B: With the advent of the Space Age in 1957 after the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I, the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics (NACA) began to conduct space research. In July, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In October 1958, the NACA was incorporated in the newly founded NASA and the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory was renamed the NASA Lewis Research Center. In 1999, the Center was renamed again as the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field to honor the first American to orbit the Earth. Established in 2016, the Lewis Historic District’s period of significance is 1941-1972, during which it contributed to the success of the Apollo program, which placed U.S. astronauts on the moon.
Sponsors: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Glenn Research Center, The Ohio History Connection