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Landmark and Legend
Memphis, TN
Here we note legends-in-their-own-time and landmarks as they transition into history

Memphis International Airport, east terminal
 
Memphis International Airport terminal visibility
opened 1963 - to be obscured about 2011
 
Memphis International Airport terminalThe terminal at Memphis International Airport was not removed, it was just obscured from the front by a multi-story parking garage completed in 2012. "The new design's unveiling in January created something of a stir in the architecture and preservation communities. However, critics figured they were too late to do anything about it, because the Flintco contract had already been awarded, architect Keith Kays said." (The Commercial Appeal, March 3, 2010) Beautiful in the daytime but especially remarkable at night, the view of the main terminal and its two additions is blocked by a 7 level parking garage built just north of the exiting 3 level parking facility in front of the terminal building. In the same article cited above, Keith Kays says the new parking garage will "obliterate the view of the terminal building itself."

Those traveling the airport's confusing roadways to the passenger drop off and pick up areas can still see the terminal, but are so close by the time it becomes visible to get a good appreciation of its special architecture. The terminal will remain visible from locations to the east, south, and west, but at quite a distance that also will be unlikely to give an appreciation to its style.

As mentioned, the lighting of the martin glass structure at night is something special. During the Christmas season, lights have been colored an alternating red and green on the columns to give a fun recognition of the holiday season.

The current airport terminal south of Winchester Road opened in 1963, replacing one which had served since 1938 and was located north of Winchester. The center section of the current terminal was the original building, the west wing was added later, then the east wing, but all maintaining the martini glass architecture. The notable design was created by architect Roy Harrover.

The new "parking and ground transportation facility" cost $89.4 million. Construction began the first week of March, 2010. Airport Authority executives say it added 4,500 parking spaces and houses rental car facilities, which for many years had been located 3 road miles away from the terminal.

This is just one of the notable changes at the Memphis airport. A separate page has been established on this website to commemorate the 1977 Air Traffic Control tower which served until 2011.

It should also be noted that two of the runways north of Winchester have been closed, probably in the 1990s. Runways 3-21 and runway 14-32 formed an X on the north side of Winchester. The only runway remaining
substantially on the original airport property north of Winchester Road is 9-27, although the original north south runway, now designated 18C-36C,  does extend somewhat north of Winchester Road.