jsnww81
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The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Tue Feb 18, 2003 1:42 pm

The recent post about Continental's upcoming move from Sky Harbor's T4 to T2 got me thinking... seems Continental will be the only airline in PHX's history to have used ALL four terminals.

I'm really fascinated by Terminal 1 and was hoping some of you can relate memories of it to me... looking through some documents at my university's Transportation Library, it looks like it was the airport's original terminal. A 1978 Sky Harbor roster shows it as occupied by Continental, Delta and Frontier (all of whom, it seems, moved into the new T3 the following year).

A 1981 map of Sky Harbor shows T1 occupied by deregulation newcomers Eastern, Braniff, Northwest and United. Most of those folks seem to have been moved into the other two buildings by the mid-1980s (was this to make room for Southwest?)

When I was younger, I remember seeing Terminal 1 on the map of PHX in my dad's "Business Traveler's Atlas." This would have been around 1987 or so. It was listed as home to Southwest and USAir. I'm guessing that the facility was abandoned after USAir acquired PSA's gates in T2 and Southwest moved to the new T4. When was it demolished?

What was the building like? Did it have ground-level or jetway boarding? Open air or enclosed? I'd guess a building in Phoenix would need air conditioning. Any memories or recollections you have of T1 would be greatly appreciated.
 
desertjets
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Tue Feb 18, 2003 1:51 pm

Unfortunately there isn't a really good photo archive of Sky Harbor in the pre-T4 days. To better place it at the airport, T1 was located where the west economy lot is today... I would assume that at one point it was the parking lot for T1. If you look at Sky Harbor's website, they have a decent history of the airport. T1 was the original terminal before T2 opened in 1962.

Now to compound the previous question, I am curious about the temporary concourse that was built on the south end of T3. It seems that in the few years prior to T4s completion, terminals at Sky Harbor must have been pretty crowded.

Unfortunately, I moved to Phoenix in 1991, right after the opening of T4. By then T1 was gone. And the airlines are in more or less the same place they are now. With Continental being the only exception.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:59 pm

If memory serves, all the airlines that occupied Terminal 1 slowly moved over to 2 or 3 in order to:

1. Get better gates/facilities

2. Make room for Southwest

WN expanded like mad at T-1, and had several temporary gates built to house their explosive growth.

T-1 was demolished shortly after T-4 opened. The old control tower is now south of the airfield, affixed to the Cutter Aviation facility.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
johnboy
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Tue Feb 18, 2003 6:22 pm

I don't remember that much about the gates at the T1, although I don't remember ever getting off the WN plane via stairway. However, I do vividly remember that baggage was picked up in an open-air facility outside and to the immediate left of the terminal, i.e. it had a roof and a brick retaining wall structure but was definitely open otherwise.

I flew into Phoenix one year from BNA, and the weather was so hot, that they held the flight on the ground at BNA. We were told that they weren't sure if it was safe or not to land during the extreme heat (>120 F). I don't know much about planes and extreme heat, so I can't say one way or the other. But that's what they told us at the gate in Nashville, for sure. I also got totally smashed before and during the flight -- of course this was when you could get pretty smashed on airplanes and no one minded (too) much.

Plus I had to wait for my luggage outside the air-conditioned terminal. Brutal.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 12:41 am

I had the opportunity to fly out of T-1 on Southwest on a PHX-LAX run in the summer of 1985. At the time, the UA pilots were on strike, and I had a space available pass on CO to get from IAD to LAX. The agents at IAH told me I'd never get to LAX via DEN that day, so they routed me through IAH. From there, the next 4 IAH-LAX flights (DC-10s) were all full, so I asked CO to get me close to LAX (where my car) was, either LAS or PHX, and I'll hop a WN flight. So they got me to PHX.

When I cruised over from CO gates (IU've forgotten there they were at the time) to T-1, I remember how jam packed it was, how little space they had for the numbers of people they were running through the place.

Desertjets and Jamie: if you're interested, I've got some pictures I took of the temporary concourse on T-3 (America West) that I took from the control tower. I'll scan them over to you if you like. I'd post them if I could, but that talent eludes me. I've also got some postcards from the early 80's if you like.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:12 am

PHX's website has a page on T-1. It's at:

http://phoenix.gov/AVIATION/enthusiast/terminal1.html

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
desertjets
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:17 am

Tom, if you want feel free to email me the pics... my contact info is in my profile. I will try to host them up on my web space.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
4holer
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 3:51 am

I do know that in that the concrete outline of the old apron can still be seen west of T2, especially from the windows of the old TWA gates.

A nice picture of the old tower behind a Pacific Western 737 on this page...
http://www.visitingphx.com/phxpast3.html
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:34 am

I remember seeing a pic of T-1 in Airways or Airliners. The terminal from above looked like a 1/4 circle with about 8-10 gates. All the gates were occupied by WN and parked behind each 737 were staggered 737's VERY close to the planes at the gates.
The noses of the aircraft behind were forward of the tail sections of the planes on either side. The caption read something to the effect that WN gate space was at a "premium" before the construction of T-4. A MAJOR understatement  Big grin
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:37 am

I vaquely remember connecting in PHX in the late 1980's with friends on the way from AUS-ONT. I also remember the facilities as being very crowded, worn out and dated. I was thinking 1950's and the link above said it was opened in 1952. I might be wrong, but I think there were jetways, but the connected to the gates which were at ground level. And wasn't there some kind of patio or courtyard or garden in the middle or am I just remembering it wrong?

Although it was old and outdated, Terminal 1 at PHX was downright luxurious compared to the terminal facilities at ONT, where you deplaned via airstairs and walked over to the "concourse", which was nothing but a narrow tin-covered walkway that led to the terminal.

Anyway,there are three good (big) pics of Terminal 1 on this website, one taken in 1955, and two more from 1970.

http://arizonaroads.homestead.com/Sky_Harbor.html

LoneStarMike

 
desertjets
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 6:21 am

This picture is why I love old post cards.



Circa mid-50s. 2 American Airlines DC-6s, one TWA Connie, and my guess would be a Western or Bonanza DC-3. The orientation is to the NNW.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
jsnww81
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:12 am

Thanks everyone for your memories, keep 'em coming...

Tom, I'd like to see your photos as well, if you don't mind.

LoneStarMike: you're right, there's no way Phoenix's T1 could have been any worse than the old Ontario terminal. Although ONT had a certain charm with its open-air ticket and bag claim lobbies, the tin-roofed concourses and hastily-added cinderblock holdrooms were an awful sight.

Moving on to some T2 trivia... when was the T2 concourse double-decked? The gates at the very end of the concourse look modern, like those at T3 and T4, while those nearer to the lobby (United and the former TWA gates) look much older.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:46 am

Jamie,

I just dug up 2 aerial photos I obtained from PHX in past years. The first is from 1982, the second from 1989.

1982: the end of T-2 has the ramp level boarding gates (except the west end, which has jetways). The terminal end of the concourse appears to be double-decked.

1989: the end of T-2 is double-decked.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
jsnww81
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:53 am

Thanks Tom!

As I said before, I'd like to see your photos taken from the PHX tower as well.

Appreciate the extra info!
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 10:17 am

Jamie and Brad,

I emailed 5 pics to each of you.

One of them is of the end of T-2, taken in 1987. That end is still single decked, with ramp loading. I'm guessing now that the double-decking on the end was done between '87 and '89.

My oldest pics show the closer-in gates as being double-decked, so that must have been done previous to 1982.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 12:09 pm

The picture that OzarkD9S mentions is in the July/August 2000 issue of 'Airliners'. It does show T-1 with 8 jetways and 15 WN aircraft nosed in at the gates. The way that they are parked (has to be an early morning picture) leads me to believe that they would board the second row (not at jetways) of aircraft, and send them on their way (on their first flights of the day), then schedule out the aircraft that would be parked at the jetways.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
desertjets
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:04 pm

I am just testing this out now. I'll upload all of Tom's pics tomorrow when I am on broadband. But I want to see if this works or not.

Here's a shot showing T1 and the base of T2. You have a UA DC-10 parked at gate 3 at T2, a Southwest and USAir 737-200, and what appears to be a Shorts 360 beyond the USAir jet... I am guessing StatesWest here.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
jmc1975
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Wed Feb 19, 2003 3:29 pm

DesertJets,
Your photo had to have been taken in 1987. StatesWest moved to T-2 in 1988 as did USAir when they merged with PSA and moved into the brand-new 2-story structure at the end of T-2.
.......
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Thu Feb 20, 2003 1:04 am

Jmc1975:
Your timing of the above photo is correct, I took the picture that DesertJets posted in March of 1987. I stopped at PHX as I was driving from LA to MSY to start my new job here.

Brad:
Thanks for posting it. Looks good.

Tom in NO (still at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
desertjets
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:58 am

Ok guys, I put together a little webpage with all 5 pics and some abridged comments. JMC1975... since you are the resident expert on all things Sky Harbor... feel free to add any additional comments.

http://www.people.virginia.edu/~bjp3f/skyharbor.html
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Tom in NO
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Thu Feb 20, 2003 8:22 am

Brad:
Thanks for posting the link and the pictures.  Smile

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
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RayChuang
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RE: The Old Terminal 1 At PHX?

Thu Feb 20, 2003 10:16 am

I remember going through PHX Terminal 1 on transit between flights when WN was using that terminal in 1989--it was small, crowded and not a bit claustophobic due to the low ceilings of that terminal.  Nuts I'm glad that obselete terminal is gone now.  Smile

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