T3 is the same age as T2, and while it is in better shape than T2 due to extensive renovations thanks to AA, it is still aging and will most likely come down at some point as it doesn’t fit in with the design of where things are going at ORD. At the end of the day, the airport is a business and while we can celebrate the architecture all we want, we have to move on at some point. Modern airports are critical for the regional and national economy.
As much as I don’t like Doug Parker, he said it best at the initial announcement of the O’Hare 21 concept in 2016:
[quote]"There's no debate, it's time to start planning for the future of O'Hare. While the old antique charm may work at Wrigley Field, it's not quite the same at an airport."
Fair enough, but I'd argue that T3 is still and will be very functional for a long time. I've yet to see a convincing argument that precludes T3's near-to-medium term obsolescence. The tube-based fuselage aircraft design of the 1960's is going to the rule the airport tarmacs for another 30-40 years at least. There's nothing some new glass curtain walls, reworked retail, and new jet bridges can't fix. Furthermore, I'd argue with AA eventually moving some widebody's over to the OGT, T3 should have some pressure taken off to focus on the narrowbodies. When it's done right, I think the glass walls rival any views from any other domestic terminal.
Not everyone believes that all new terminals need to look like convention centers.
Out of curiosity, ORDfan, if the landmarking of T-3 were to occur, am I right in assuming that status would only apply to the terminal itself and not the concourses
There are different types (levels) of landmarking: some more restrictive than others. Some require all exterior and as many interior elements as possible to be preserved, others require just the basic shape or shell of the landmark to exist. It's a pretty fluid definition and is highly local and very case-specific. I'd recommend something along the line of maintaining and restoring the exterior structure and curtain walls with T3 - removing some of the ad-hoc concrete works and reworking jet bridges to suit the original atheistic.
How great would it be to see the Seven Continents Rotunda restored to it’s former glory as part of the new OGT. I’m talking about opening it up and making it an amazing restaurant again. Although I would prefer it be open to the public, it could function quite nicely as sort of an exclusive club/restaurant. Sort of like “Classified” at EWR. As a foodie, and an avid avgeek/ORDlover, this would be an absolute dream come true.
Wasn’t there originally a viewing deck on top of the rotunda back in the day too?
Yep: it was a slick spot back in the day. It'd be great to see this formally restored as well. There's no reason a higher end restaurant couldn't do well up there today. https://chicagomodern.wordpress.com/201 ... et-modern/
I wouldn't call any of the ORD buildings 'Brutalist' but more of the 'Miesian' or 'Modernist'. G/H/K are too butchered from their 80's renovation to be appreciated for their original architectural 'splendor' and they were never anything special anyway. L is from 1983 and is no gem itself. T3 is shown to be renovated and I can appreciate that but even that was butchered when they added space to the front when the roadway canopy was built. If you want to save a modernist 'Miesian' building, save the Heating Plant, that is truely a masterpiece, especially at night.
I don't want to argue semantics and I wouldn't disagree too heavily with the Mies/Modernist reference, but I would note that the Mies/Modernist era pre-dates Murphy. Sure you can see some of Mies' influence in the terminal, but Mies was peaking in the late 40's/early' 50's, and Charles Murphy was a well-known brutalist by the the time T2/T3 opened in '62. I said brutalism largely owing to the concrete-heavy look and symmetry of the main concourse towers (where the "y" legs meet). It's perhaps the most identifying part of the project to my eye - I believe the piers/concourses themselves could be more malleable/updated and still maintain Murphy's ethos.
Being butchered in the past doesn't mean that are incapable and/or not worth preserving and restoring. Particularly if they are still functional.