The Candler Field Museum was established by Vietnam veteran and retired Delta captain, Ron Alexander, in an effort to recreate the original Atlanta airport, Candler Field, as it existed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The airport was named for Asa Griggs Candler, founder of the Coca-Cola Company. Candler and two associates purchased acreage on the south side of Atlanta to be developed into lavish race track modeled after the Indianapolis Speedway. The race track opened in 1909, but poor revenue forced the raceway to close after one season.
In 1910, the former speedway was used to host an aerial exhibition consisting of endurance flights, and over the years the property was used
for various aviation events until 1925, when a permanent airfield was needed and several civic organizations were looking for a suitable site.
Asa Candler offered up his former speedway to lease to the city for five years if they city would pay the taxes. Then-Atlanta Mayor Bill Hartsfield proposed they name the new airport Candler Field in hopes that Asa Candler might eventually donate the land to the city. On April 13, 1929, Candler sold Candler Field to the city of Atlanta for $94,400.
The museum was housed in the American Airways hangar, which was completed in 2008 and is currently the largest
hangar at Peach State Aerodrome.
In 2015, the Doug Davis hangar, named for the well-known barnstormer, commercial pilot and Georgia native, was completed in 2015 and serves as the current home of the Youth Aviation Program.
In 2019, the museum closed its memorabilia displays to the public with the goal of building a new 7,700 sq. ft. facility that will serve as a permanent home to its aviation artifacts as well as to the growing Youth Aviation Program.
Today, the Candler Field Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. While museum artifacts aren’t currently on display, visitors are still welcome to tour the Doug Davis hangar, which houses our youth aviation projects. The hangar is open Wednesday evenings from 6 – 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Check out our latest happenings in the Candler Field Museum Newsletter:
Candler Field Museum’s Youth Aviation Program was founded in 2013 for the purpose of imparting knowledge of aircraft-related subjects to young people who have a keen interest in beginning a career in aviation. Learn more.
From Aviation Career Day to Vintage Days to the annual Veterans Day celebration, Candler Field Museum hosts a variety of aviation-themed events open to the public. Learn more at Events and Activities or visit our calendar to see what’s coming up next.
The purpose of the Candler Field Flying Club is to offer affordable flight instruction to Candler Field Museum members, their families, and friends. Learn more.
Interested in joining this community of aviation enthusiasts? Join the Candler Field Museum today or learn more by calling 770-467-8318 or email us at [email protected].
Your donations are vital to our museum’s success. Thank you for your support!
We’re always looking for knowledgeable and enthusiastic individuals with a passion for aviation to join us! Volunteer opportunities include:
For more information, contact administrative assistant Amy King at 770-467-8318.