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LAX History  
User currently offlineHermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 510 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9216 times:

Tell me about LAX history and the future. I'm a Midwestern boy and have never been to LAX but I just learned about the cool under ground tunnels between the terminals, and how the terminals were originally satellite terminals. What I have seen of them they seem very retro but also sorta back in style. While LAX is very modern and has seen many updates its also seems there are areas that are still original and have that 60's feel like you should see a PanAm 707 right around the corner. Does anyone know the plans for LAX is some of this going to get preserved or is LAX in for a total overhaul?

Cheers


The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 9099 times:

LAX doesn't seem to throw things away easily, so there is a lot of old stuff around, but you may not notice it. The original terminal building from 1929 still stands, Hanger 1. It is on the south side of the field surrounded by freight terminals. Some of the 1940-50 era buildings are still in use near the big post office building. Airport Blvd still runs right into that spot. Terminal 3 is still very much like it was in the early 60's. Watch the movie Airplane and you can see some of the same places today. I think there is still one tunnel (T3?) that still leads from the satellite area to baggage claim with the original mosaic walls. The theme building (and Encounter restaurant) had been there with little change since the early 60's. The interior got a makeover in Star Trek style.

Some, but not all, of the tunnels connecting T4,T5, T6, T7 are still there. They are ugly and claustrophobic, but I guess historic. Even when they were in full use they were a bit obscure. Many people never knew about them. The 1960's tower is still there, but it has been turned into an office only structure. I'd like to know if the tower cab is accessible to the public. Maybe LAXINTL will see this and give us an answer. I'd also like to know what those metal structures on the outside of the old tower are. Cell phone antennas? Balcony railings? They weren't there originally.

When the current airport opened in the 60' it was considered to be a wonderful place. There was a lot of walking, but many of the street-satellite tunnels had moving walkways. Traffic was light enough so that there were no multilevel garages in the center, allowing for much better views. Rental cars were actually parked right outside baggage claim! The satellites were quite spacious and didn't have the additional boarding lounges tacked on the edges to spoil the views.

Look at LAX on Google maps and you can still see the elliptical satellite buildings at the core of terminals 3-7. T8 was always linear, T2 was torn down and replaced, and T-1 is relatively new.

The original Bradley terminal concourses will be torn down in about a year, and not a day too soon. Nothing worth saving there!


User currently offlineHermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 510 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 9013 times:

Now that you mention the old control tower, I saw a photo I'm guessing either taken form the new control tower or a parking structure and it was when the space shuttle came to LAX in the picture the old tower clearly had people standing all over it, I think even on the roof of the cab.


The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 544 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8964 times:

I remember going thru LAX once in the early 80's when World Way was being double decked ahead of the '84 Olympics. I was going thru T3 and remember finding a plaque near where the Bradley Terminal now stands for the first transatlantic service from LAX operated by SAS in 1956 I think. I believe this was routed LAX-YWG-SFG-CPH. Not sure if that plaque is still there. I usually go thru T1 when I go there now.

User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2136 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8821 times:

Quoting HermansCVR580 (Thread starter):
While LAX is very modern

It is? Have you actually been inside T1, T3 or the TBIT terminals at LAX? Modern is not exactly the word I'd use to describe those places...

Quoting aklrno (Reply 1):
I think there is still one tunnel (T3?) that still leads from the satellite area to baggage claim with the original mosaic walls.

There are still tunnels from T6 and T5 to bag claim. T4-5-6 are all connected by underground tunnels as well (the T4-5 tunnel is still closed as of last week).

By the way, does anyone know where at LAX the movie The Graduate was filmed? The moving walkway scene in the beginning has always puzzled me and I've never been able to figure out where they filmed that scene.


User currently offlineIFlyTWA From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8800 times:

Quoting HermansCVR580 (Thread starter):
Tell me about LAX history and the future. I'm a Midwestern boy and have never been to LAX but I just learned about the cool under ground tunnels between the terminals, and how the terminals were originally satellite terminals. What I have seen of them they seem very retro but also sorta back in style. While LAX is very modern and has seen many updates its also seems there are areas that are still original and have that 60's feel like you should see a PanAm 707 right around the corner. Does anyone know the plans for LAX is some of this going to get preserved or is LAX in for a total overhaul.

Jon Proctor's website has some nice pictures of LAX through the years...

http://jonproctor.net/lax-through-the-years/

Same with this site

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/1473691@N21/pool/interesting/

The historic American Airlines low bay hangar was recently leveled. Does anyone know when that hangar was constructed? The TWA hangar will eventually be demolished as well. That hangar is like a time warp to the 60s with artifacts of TWA's past scattered throughout.



"To express the excitement of travel" - Eero Saarinen
User currently offlineIFlyTWA From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8778 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 1):
I'd also like to know what those metal structures on the outside of the old tower are.

I believe those used to support the louvers that surrounded the tower at one time. I believe the louvers were removed when the new tower was placed into service.

[Edited 2012-12-06 21:31:22]


"To express the excitement of travel" - Eero Saarinen
User currently offlinebeechtobus From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8707 times:

I never realized that Terminal 8 was part of the current terminal complex from the beginning. I guess I always though that 8 was an add on built sometime between the mid 70s and early 80s. To me it Just never seemed contiguous with the complex and always seemed like an afterthought. Very nice and informative collections.

On a side note, does anyone know the history of the Imperial Terminal? My spotting/intrigue with LAX career began in the mid to late 80's on El Segundo hill when MGM Grand Air was using the terminal for its JFK flights. If I remember right, during or after MG, there was a commuter airline the terminal (maybe Air LA or Alpha). Then at some point after it became its current iteration of a museum. I'd love to hear if anyone knows the background, history and about other operators that used this obscure little part of LAX.

[Edited 2012-12-06 22:16:52]

User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8592 times:

I was a child of LAX in the 70s. Dad used to always drop us off to fly off to Grandmas several times per year. Plus the normal vacations etc. Father worked at LAX for a major airline so we new the airport well.

What I remember was that those tunnels were LONG and BLEAK. Nothing in those tunnels but people walking back and forth and the odd golf cart carrying a senior passenger. Literally from check in on the groun level, you'd walk all the walk in a b right white windowless tunnel decorated with drawing of the airport by local school children. Anyb ody rememeber those? Then you'd arrive at the escalator to take you up to the main termimal. Very unexciting.

And this is interesting to note, there was not the plethora of concessinon stands (coffee/ starbucks, food stands, taco places, burgers, Boudin sourdough, take out etc.) that is now standard in airport terminals. I always remember the terminals had a gift shop and usually a mini style cafeteria restaurant from HOST. Almost the same kind of food youd get on the planes since they catered that as well.


User currently offlineazncsa4qf744er From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8580 times:

The old tower nowadays house offices and United Airlines ramp tower. The top tower cab also leased to United.

User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8527 times:

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 8):
What I remember was that those tunnels were LONG and BLEAK. Nothing in those tunnels but people walking back and forth and the odd golf cart carrying a senior passenger. Literally from check in on the groun level, you'd walk all the walk in a b right white windowless tunnel decorated with drawing of the airport by local school children. Anyb ody rememeber those? Then you'd arrive at the escalator to take you up to the main termimal. Very unexciting.

The tunnels from ticketing to the satellites had colorful mosaic walls. Some of them had moving sidewalks. The really bleak tunnels connected the satellites to each other on the south side.


User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8526 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 4):
By the way, does anyone know where at LAX the movie The Graduate was filmed? The moving walkway scene in the beginning has always puzzled me and I've never been able to figure out where they filmed that scene.

The only moving walkways I recall were from the ticketing buildings to the satellites. Not all the terminals had them. I'm pretty sure T4 (AA) did. That would be my guess.


User currently offlineHermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 510 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 8387 times:

Quoting IFlyTWA (Reply 5):
Does anyone know when that hangar was constructed?

I want to say 1957 or 1958. Right before the arrival of the Boeing 707's. Just going on what I have read up so far. I was so bummed to find out that the low bay hangars had just recently come down. I was hoping to get that classic shot when I finally make it out there. If you go to Historic Aerials and search LAX it offers some nice aerial photos from various years.



The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
User currently offlineMainliner From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 8330 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 10):
The tunnels from ticketing to the satellites had colorful mosaic walls.

I can't speak for the other terminals, but the mosaic walls still exist in the T5 tunnel.



Every flight counts.
User currently offlinewilliam From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8194 times:

If one clicks on the link,

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/lafdhs/5545209736/

What is the building at the bottom right hand of the pic? It has a circle roof (like Pan Ama's Worldport) near the exit of the airport?


User currently offlinewilliam From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8189 times:

(Google Maps) Between Aviation Blvd and the 405, and Century and Arbor Vitae, there is neighborhood that looks mostly empty but has a few houses there. Why is that? Are the few houses there inhabited? Is this an old pic from Google maps or has that area been developed more. Kind of odd considering the real estate.

User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2136 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 8171 times:

Quoting william (Reply 15):

(Google Maps) Between Aviation Blvd and the 405, and Century and Arbor Vitae, there is neighborhood that looks mostly empty but has a few houses there. Why is that? Are the few houses there inhabited? Is this an old pic from Google maps or has that area been developed more. Kind of odd considering the real estate.

It's current. Just drove by that area a week or two ago. I believe LAWA bought the area up and demolished the houses, much like they did with Surfridge in the 60s-70s.

Supposedly they're going to "develop" it. I've heard there will be a rental car facility there, amongst other things. Like all things in LA, I'll believe it when I see it.


User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2249 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8116 times:

Quoting william (Reply 14):
If one clicks on the link,

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/lafdhs/5545209736/

What is the building at the bottom right hand of the pic? It has a circle roof (like Pan Ama's Worldport) near the exit of the airport?

I think it was a Chevron gas station.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineplatinumfoota From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8070 times:

Quoting azncsa4qf744er (Reply 9):
The old tower nowadays house offices and United Airlines ramp tower. The top tower cab also leased to United

In the top cab (The Nest) there's nothing but a table and chairs last time I checked, Awesome place for a meeting.



Never forget United 93
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6508 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8044 times:

This episode of Charlie's Angels......go to 11;30 mark, there is a nice aerial view of LAX This is 1976 I'm guessing. You'll notice three UA 727s that are not @ the satellite. Did UA board pax directly from the main terminal?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EftrIiQOa5I



Another nice aerial here @ around 3:40 mark

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaGYsMM0zWc



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2999 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7735 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 1):
I'd like to know if the tower cab is accessible to the public.

It is not. It serves as a conference room; had a nice lunch there. Has a deck to take pictures on, too.

The new tower is higher and has a better view; of course, it is in operation so I thought it was more interesting.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 889 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7446 times:
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Quoting beechtobus (Reply 7):

I never realized that Terminal 8 was part of the current terminal complex from the beginning.

The first flight I ever took. July 1966. UA DC-8 LAX-SAN on my 8th birthday. Gate 81. Terminal 8

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 19):
This episode of Charlie's Angels......go to 11;30 mark, there is a nice aerial view of LAX This is 1976 I'm guessing. You'll notice three UA 727s that are not @ the satellite. Did UA board pax directly from the main terminal?


These 727s are parked at the "C" gates. (C1, C2 and C3) United built a gate area above their ticketing area at terminal 7 in the early 70s to house close in gates for their "California Commuter" flights to SFO, SJC and OAK.

PSA did the same thing at Terminal 6 shortly there after with their Gate 600 complex.. Mexicana and Western had Gate 500A/B/C also above ticketing in Terminal 5, which had direct access to the Customs/Immigration area in T5 at the time.

Tomas SJC



When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4050 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7360 times:
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Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 21):
These 727s are parked at the "C" gates. (C1, C2 and C3) United built a gate area above their ticketing area at terminal 7 in the early 70s to house close in gates for their "California Commuter" flights to SFO, SJC and OAK.

PSA did the same thing at Terminal 6 shortly there after with their Gate 600 complex.. Mexicana and Western had Gate 500A/B/C also above ticketing in Terminal 5, which had direct access to the Customs/Immigration area in T5 at the time.

Tomas SJC

I remember those MX gates very well. I got to use a jetway a few times, the rest out onto the tarmac for MX.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4530 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7041 times:

Go to this website:

http://www.historicaerials.com/

Type in LAX in the search box and, well, you can probably figure out the rest. The "Compare" function is excellent.


User currently offlineHermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 510 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6939 times:

Some excellent sites and links to photos have been shared.


The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
25 Post contains images picarus : Ding Ding Ding! It was indeed. As a kid, I always thought it was the coolest looking station. I always hoped we'd pull in for gas on our way out of L
26 aklrno : There was a much cooler gas station planned, but for some reason I don't know, it didn't get built there. Instead it was built in Beverly Hills at th
27 Flyingsottsman : I remember my first trip to the States over the Christmas New year in 1982/83 when TBIT was being built I can remember a lot of international airlines
28 TWA772LR : In T6, or where ever it is that CO used to go in to before the merger, if you look at the FIDS, you can tell where the old CO lettering and meatball l
29 swabrian : Back during the pre PC days, every Christmas and Easter, the 1962 Tower would adjust the lights in the office section to form a cross. Terminal 1 sits
30 Post contains links milesrich : In the orginal United Terminal. The one that is/was the furthest east on the south side of Terminal Way. I haven't seen the movie in years, but as I
31 Post contains images skywaymanaz : The more things change the more they stay the same I remember seeing this film right after my graduation in the 80's. Definitely United DC-8 with the
32 Post contains images Tomassjc : "Please hold handrail and stand to the right. If you wish to pass, please do so on the left" on the moving sidewalk, along with "The white zone is for
33 aklrno : Wasn't there also something about "No parking in the red zone"? Remember in the movie Airplane! those two phrases were spoken by a man and a woman wh
34 skywaymanaz : (Copied from imdb.com) Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone
35 Tomassjc : Indeed! And speaking of LAX History. "Airplane" was filmed right there in the summer of '78. Using Satellite 3 and other TWA facilities. I say with a
36 HermansCVR580 : HAHA LoL!!! I would love to have been in airplane. Gosh thinking about it LAX is pretty famous it has been in tons of shows. Even had a terrible TV sh
37 milesrich : That was an actual recording that played outside the various LAX terminals in the mid 70's.
38 HermansCVR580 : Ooooh I forgot this movie but for some good LAX action and also Western DC-10 footage check out Commando, towards the start of the movie they are on a
39 maxpower1954 : I believe you are thinking of the TV movie San Francisco International Airport with Pernell Roberts, which morphed into an even worse TV series with
40 Post contains links HermansCVR580 : Here it is. I knew I suffered through a really bad show a couple of times. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAX_%28TV_series%29
41 maxpower1954 : Wow, how did this one get by me? Thanks for the info; now both SFO and LAX have had terrible TV series about them about 34 years apart!
42 Post contains links 26point2 : Not sure this has been posted. Many excellent LAX pics through the years. http://jonproctor.net/lax-through-the-years/#
43 Post contains images PSA53 : Great thread: Here are some PSA photos taken at LAX in the 80's.I know these have been posted before but I'll get some new Western and other carriers
44 PacificClipper : When were the connector buildings between ticketing and the satellites built for the south side terminals? I'm guessing that's when these gates went
45 Tomassjc : Exactly. These gates were used pre 1984 when there was no upper level roadway. Ticketing and Checkin functions were expanded upstairs in all terminal
46 HermansCVR580 : Wow love the shot with the three 727's all of different airlines in one shot. Not going to see that in today's world.
47 Post contains images PSA53 : Some,mostly unpolished photos,at LAX of Pacific Express,Muse and Northwest.
48 Post contains links and images ramprat74 : I was born and raised in LA. I never knew the original terminals were built below grade? Wow!
49 Post contains links AADC10 : Do not forget to check out the Flight Path museum in the former Imperial Terminal: http://www.flightpath.us The website unfortunately does not have mu
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