The Big Build at SMF

Upon its opening on October 21, 1967, Sacramento Metropolitan Airport, according to its website, was:
... the first public use airport west of the Mississippi that had been built completely from the ground up. In 1957, the proposed construction of Sacramento Metropolitan Airport and the purchase of nearly 6,000 acres north of downtown Sacramento was considered extravagant, risky, based on unrealistic passenger expectations, and poorly located. The skeptics were wrong. The anticipated 750,000 annual passengers that seemed so unrealistic in the late 1950's surpassed the one million passenger mark during the airport's first year of operation.
Local architect/aviation buff Al Dreyfuss and his partner, Len Blackford drafted the original master plan for Sacramento Airport in 1963.

I have fond memories in the late 80's of being able to conveniently park in the lot across from Terminal B and simply moseying across the street, leisurely winding past the Eames Tandem Sling Seating and easily catching my flight.

Fast-forward 40+ years from when the airport was originally built and things have considerably changed -- by the events of 9/11 and by the fact and our city has grown. The Sacramento International Airport aka SMF now serves a dozen airlines and between 8 and 10 million passengers a year (see SMF's statistics page for further details). With these changes a need was seen to expand both Terminal A (completed 1998) and recently, Terminal B.

One of the things I love about the original Terminal B is its classic Mid-Century modern style. I am saddened it will be razed, but remain optimistic with the progress of The Big Build. According to their website, "Nationally recognized aviation design firm Corgan Associates, Inc., in association with Fentress Architects, leads the design team for Sacramento International Airport's new Central Terminal B. The collaborative design process includes stakeholders, community members, passengers, and airport tenants who provide valuable input. The team is supported by over a dozen local architectural and engineering firms assisting with design of the various program elements. Those firms include Lionakis Design Group, Dreyfuss and Blackford, Kennedy/Jenks, Capital Engineering, TTE, Hatch Mott MacDonald, Enovity, and Lea+Elliott." Also according to The Big Build website, Central Terminal B's design "is reflective of the central valley between two mountain ranges and the canopy effect of the tree-lined streets."

Another exciting aspect of the new Terminal B is the inclusion of work by internationally acclaimed and local artists. The largest piece will be a 56-foot red rabbit by sculptor Lawrence Argent.

"Other marquee names selected to install art in this space include 2009 McArthur Fellow Camille Utterback, Christian Moeller, Mildred Howard, Donald Lipski, Joan Moment, Suzanne Adan, Ned Kahn, Living Lenses (Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen) and Lynn Criswell.... A preview of what it will all look like is on view at the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento through May 16.  The show (In Public: Designing Art for the Sacramento International Airport) consists of architectural drawings, models, video presentations and original paintings. The paintings, by Suzanne Adan and Joan Moment, will be translated to glass teserae mosaics by Franz Mayer of Munich, widely regarded as the world’s leading fabricator of glass for contemporary art installations."

It's amazing how much our city has grown. I'm excited to see Sacramento being the home to another wonderful terminal with such modern architectural, design, and art elements.