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Minoru Yamasaki’s Lambert Airport Terminal Dedicated 60 Years Ago Today

March 10, 2016 Featured, History/Preservation, STL Region 3 Comments

The non-profit STL250, set up to celebrate the city’s 250th in 2014, posted fascinating history during its campaign. I saved links to the ones I thought would be interesting to share on anniversary’s. Today’s was posted in 2013 — about an event sixty years ago today:

This Day in St. Louis History, March 10, 1956:
Lambert’s “Ultra modern” airport terminal is dedicated

St. Louis Mayor Raymond Tucker dedicated the new main terminal at Lambert Field, replacing the old terminal that had been built in the 1930s. Minoru Yamasaki designed the four-domed, concrete shell terminal, which would later inspire similar airport designs at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. Minoru Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the mid-20th century, but two of his projects would meet famously tragic ends – the Pruitt Igoe Housing Complex of St. Louis in 1972 and the World Trade Center Twin Towers of New York on September 11, 2001.

This dawn photograph of the Lambert Main Terminal was taken in June 1956, less than 4 months after its opening. Photograph by Ralph D’Oench, Missouri Historical Society Collections

This dawn photograph of the Lambert Main Terminal was taken in June 1956, less than 4 months after its opening. Photograph by Ralph D’Oench, Missouri Historical Society Collections
“This dawn photograph of the Lambert Main Terminal was taken in June 1956, less than 4 months after its opening. Photograph by Ralph D’Oench, Missouri Historical Society Collections”

Yamasaki’s airport commission was around the same time as his commission for Pruitt-Igoe, probably just after.

Many changes inside & out have altered the original clean lines, but it still looks good to my eyes.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. gmichaud says:

    I agree it is an attractive building. From ancient city planning to date, successful cities would create vistas of approach so the beauty of the building could be admired. To do that, forget the parking lot and current configurations of movement at the airport. I would guess you might want to approach the Yamasaki building from the center of the building at ground level for the best view..
    This complete ignoring of aesthetic, of beauty and art is in a large part why St. Louis fails.
    Take another example in addition to Yamasaki. Downtown is full of random parking lots and garages deadening street after street for the pedestrian. The idea of a quality walk, in other words, aesthetically pleasing, is a completely foreign notion.
    The airport is only another variation of this theme.
    The view of the building is far different now than in the 1956 photo you show above.

     

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