7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2 Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3036 times:
I was going through a bunch of pictures and found a few of PHL from 1988-1989. One of the weird things was that the old terminal (B,C,and D concourses) was of a green color (very ugly). Anyone here remember that? And in what year did concourse E get built? why did they not start with A instead of B? g-p
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
Jetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7452 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2957 times:
I remember PHL back then. They were also painted a drab-blue with huge gate letter/numbers painted on the side of the building. I believe that the E Concourse was constructed in 1978. They were working on the A Concourse from 74-79 then work halted with the skeletal structure was only completed. It was picked back up again in 1988 and finally completed in January of 1991. It opened for business on March 3rd, 1991. 17 years after it began. PHL was a mess for a majority of the last 40 years. They kept forcing foreign carriers to use the old and antiquated and blue-painted Overseas Terminal. A few carriers threatened to pull out of PHL it they didn't get their act together and provide better facilities. I remember the BA 707 that went to the Franklin Institute. It sat next to the OT for almost 4-5 years. Too bad the 707 isn't still there. If you look at the base of the dispatch tower between the A & B terminal out front, you can still some of that some of that ugly aqua green paneling.
Jsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2177 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 2924 times:
Here's as good a history of the PHL terminal area as I can provide:
1953: The core of the current terminal complex opens, consisting of what is now the US Airways ticket lobby, the Philadelphia Marketplace retail area, and Concourses A, B and C. Ticketing is on the upper level (where the Philadelphia Marketplace is now), as is a large departure lobby. On the mezzanine is a restaurant, weather station and observation deck. The concourses are two-level piers projecting onto the apron, although there are no jetbridges. Passengers walk along the upper level until they reach their gate, then take stairs down to the ground and board their aircraft. There is a 'Concourse A' for international flights, but it is little more than a single gate on the west side of the terminal. Baggage reclaim is in a small room on the lower level.
1960s: Concourse D is constructed on the east end of the terminal, with United as the primary tenant. A long walkway connects it to the main terminal. The baggage claim area is also extended.
The international carriers - Pan Am, TWA, BOAC, Air France and Lufthansa - use the short stub of the main terminal known as Concourse A. American, TWA, Delta and Allegheny use Concourse B. Eastern, National and Northeast use Concourse C, and United, Mohawk and Northwest Orient use Concourse D. The airport will stay in this configuration until the early 1970s.
1972: Philadelphia begins a major renovation of the airport. The program will create self-contained 'unit terminals' along a spine road.
To free up space, the international airlines are relocated to the 'Overseas Terminal' on the east side of the airport. It's basically a giant blue hangar that was enclosed and converted to passenger operations.
1976-78: 'Unit terminals' for Concourses B, C and D are opened, and an entirely new Terminal E is built, with American, Northwest Orient and Delta as the main tenants. Concourses B, C and D are updated to include jetbridges and departure lounges at each gate. As Jetjack74 stated, construction on Terminal A (for international airlines) is halted and it sits unfinished for more than a decade... sort of like Terminal C at EWR during the same period.
1991: Terminal A is finished and opened for international traffic. For some strange reason, American and Midway also move in, creating an odd split between domestic and international carriers.
1990s: The airline shakeout after the Gulf War leads to USAIr becoming the main airline at PHL. It takes over all of Concourse B (TWA moves to Concourse E) and Eastern/Midway's former gates on Concourse C. Concourses B, C and D are renovated heavily at the end of the decade, removing the greenish-brown paint and the giant gate numbers painted on the sides.
2001: Terminal F is built for US Airways Express. The new Terminal A-West follows a year later.
7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2869 times:
thanks for the detailed explanation I guess one other question would be what gate did Midway #1 share with Eastern before they moved into the extra gates. I think it was C-8 or C-10 but that was back in June of 1989!
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
340or777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2784 times:
SR flew to PHL until the late 90's. When I was young, i also remember taking AZ from PHL to FCO on a MD-11....I wish AZ would come back!
I also flew AF and LH from the old international terminal...i would love to see what it look like inside now.
PHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7589 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2674 times:
thanks for the correction on A-West's opening. I guess I must have been thinking of its "scheduled" opening instead of the actual one. Funny how it sat there, basically finished, for a whole year...
I'm sure that delay was due, in part, to the post-9/11 EDS (Explosive Detection Systems) modifications that were retrofitted to the terminal building design.
Here's a bonus question for you all:
How many avaition directors did Division Of Aviation (DOA) go through during the '80s?
I believe Jim DeLong was there in '89 at the earliest. During the '90s, Philadelphia's DOA went through 5 different directors, including the current director, Charles Isdell; who served as 'acting' director during several transition periods.
Directors of the '90s were:
Jim (or James) DeLong
Mary Rose Loney
(Who was put in by outgoing Mayor Rendell, then 'disrecommended' by then-incoming Mayor Street. Testa was police-escorted out of his PHL office in handcuffs.)
I believe all of the former aviation directors (including Testa) are now in similar positions at other airports.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981