Airport art

PHL: 5 Things We Love About Philadelphia International Airport

Our 5 Things We Love About series of airport guides celebrating some of the features and amenities at airports around the country and the world is growing longer.

And today we add another airport to the list: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

PHL, just seven miles from downtown Philadelphia, first opened in 1940. Back then it was known then as Philadelphia Municipal Airport. Today PHL serves more than 32 million passengers a year with 25 airlines making 500 departures to more than 140 destinations worldwide.

Keep in mind that some of the amenities featured here may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We are confident they will come back.

5 Things We Love About Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

1. Art and exhibitions at PHL

PHL’s award-winning art and exhibitions program is celebrating its 22nd year and you’ll find art at just about every turn.

We love the wall filled with posters of movies made in Philadelphia, such as Rocky (and the sequels), starring Sylvester Stallone; Dressed to Kill, with Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson, Blow Out, with John Travolta; Trading Places, Witness and more.

And we really love the temporary exhibitions PHL hosts as well as the permanent artwork, such as King Saladeen’s “Create Your Gold” (between Terminals C and D).


2.  PHL ARTPORT LOUNGE


The ARTport Lounge in Terminal F is a colorful place for passengers to relax while waiting for a flight. The area features the artwork of Kyle Confehr, Martha Rich, Alloyius Mcilwaine and Lauren Cat West. There’s a popular sticker wall here as well as cornhole game boards.

3. PHL WAGGING TAILS BRIGADE


PHL’s Wagging Tails Brigade of therapy dogs launched in April 2019. The program includes 12 teams of volunteer dogs and handlers who walk the terminals to interact with passengers and reduce stress.

Each dog has its own trading card as well.

4. The PHL Book Exchange

Everything in PHL’s book exchange and seating area in Terminal A is recycled. The book exchange and seats are made of reclaimed wooden pallets, the plants are in recycled aluminum cans and water bottles, and the backdrop tiles are made from broken skateboard decks.

The books are “take one, leave one” and come from passengers and from the airlines, which donate books left onboard airplanes.

5.  THE PHL POP-UP THEATER


The pop-up theater in Baggage Claim B showcases media/video by Philadelphia area youth who participate in various nonprofit programs.

Right now the features “Symphony for a Broken Orchestra,” an exhibition with broken musical instruments from the School District of Philadelphia, emphasizing the importance of music education in schools.

Broken Orchestra from Topic on Vimeo.

Did we miss an amenity you love at PHL airport? The rocking chairs? Perhaps the fact that you can order a cheesesteak in any terminal? The Philadelphia Zoo at PHL program? Or the on-property Marriott hotel connected via a skywalk to Terminal B?

Let us know in the comments section below. Which airport should we visit next?



DAL: 5 Things We Love About Dallas Love Field Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series marches on. Even though we are forced to stay on the ground and close to home.

So today we are celebrating some of the features and amenities we love at Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL).

Keep in mind that some of the things we love at DAL airport may be temporarily closed due to health concerns. But we are confident they will be back.

If we miss one of the features you love about Dallas Love Field Airport, please drop a note in the comments section below.

And be sure to take a look at some of the other airports on the “5 Things We Love About…” list. The series will continue as long as there are airports to visit. There are a lot of airports, so we will just keep this occasional feature going here on StuckatTheAirport.com

5 Things We Love About Dallas Love Field Airport

1. Live at Love Stage

The Live at Love Stage at DAL airport presents daily, lunchtime musical performances by local artists. The music is piped throughout the terminal, so you can still enjoy the music at your gate, in a restaurant or a shop.

2. The Love Field Art Program

Love Field has a robust art program, with both permanent artwork and changing exhibitions to enjoy both before and after security. You can even join an airport art tour.

3. The LBJ Plaque

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office as President aboard Air Force One as it sat parked on the ramp at Dallas Love Field.

Johnson is the only President sworn-in west of the Mississippi River and an exhibit at the Love Field Observation Deck recognizes the event with a plaque and a presidential seal on loan from Amy & Farris Rookstool, III

At night, a light illuminates another plaque out on the aircraft apron that shows the exact location of Air Force One at the swearing-in.

Here’s a note from Mr. Rookstool:

 “I spent 11 years working on honoring this Presidential History at Dallas Love Field. As a child I was at DAL on November 22, 1963. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that I would be the historian responsible for marking this historic site at the airport. The LBJ inauguration was the first and only time a President has ever been sworn in aboard and aircraft (Air Force One) at an airport.

4. Lil’ Love Lounge at Love Field

The children’s play area at Dallas Love Field Airport was a popular spot before it had to temporarily close due to COVID-19 health concerns. DAL officials promise it is coming back with a fresh new theme.

5. The Souvenirs at DAL Airport

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com, we’re a big fan of quirky, locally-themed souvenirs. The shops at Dallas Love Field Airport offer plenty of options.

Did we miss one of your favorite amenities at Dallas Love Field Airport? Let us know in the comments section below.

What airport should we feature next?

DEN: 5 Things We Love About Denver International Airport

While we wait for air travel to rev back up, the “5 Things We Love About…” series on Stuck at the Airport is celebrating some of the features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we are giving some love to Denver International Airport (DEN), from it whipped marshmallow-peak tents to the aliens we’re sure are somewhere in – or below – all those acres.

Keep in mind that some of the features we love at DEN may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns.  We are confident they will be back.

If we’ve missed an amenity you love at Denver International Airport, leave a note in the comments section below. The same goes for suggesting an airport you would like to see featured in a future “5 Things We Love About…” episode.

Here are the airports included in the “5 Things We Love About…” series so far.

5 Things We Love About Denver International Airport (DEN)

1. The DEN Tents

The 21 “tents” that make up the main terminal at Denver International Airport are described as echoing the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Native American teepees, billowing thunderheads or, perhaps, canvas-covered wagons toiling westward over the Great Plains.

2. The art at DEN

DEN is known for its unusual and eclectic art collection.

One favorite is “Mustang”.  Nicknamed, Blucifer, the blue 32-foot cast-fiberglass sculpture with neon red eyes is hard to miss on the Peña Boulevard approach to the airport.  “Mustang” was created by Luis Jiménez who, sadly, died after a piece of the sculpture fell on him while he was working on it.

DEN hosts temporary art exhibitions and has lots of permanent public art works, including Gary Sweeney’s “America, Why I Lover Her,” in the Jeppesen Terminal.

3. DEN’s CATS

DEN has more than 100 dogs and one actual cat in its CATS (Canine Airport Therapy Squad) program.

4. DEN’s Talking Gargoyle

“Notre Denver,” by Terry Allen, is an artwork featuring two cast bronze gargoyles sitting inside suitcases that watch over the east and west baggage claim areas.

These two gargoyles are charming, but they don’t talk. And due to construction at DEN, this work is in storage through 2021.

But DEN’s talking gargoyle, named Gregoriden, is on duty.

He’s set on a timer and says something to passersby every 5-10 minutes. Visit him on level 5 in the terminal near Southwest baggage claim.

5. DEN’s Gate Expansion Project

The gate expansion project at DEN will add 39 new gates across all three concourses. Better yet, the project is adding a post-security outdoor patio on each concourse featuring pet relief areas, outdoor seating, and fire pits.

Fire pits! We can’t wait!

Texas Ranger statue removed from Dallas Love Field

Courtesy Dallas Love Field

Statues are toppling and being taken down around the country because the historical figures they portray had a role in the oppression of others.

Included in this movement is the removal of the iconic Texas Ranger statue from the main lobby at Dallas Love Field Airport.

The 12-foot-tall bronze statue has been on display at the airport on and off since 1963 but was taken down in early June.

City officials decided to remove the statue. Their decision was prompted by published excerpts from a new book documenting the history of the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency and its connections to brutality and racism, the Dallas News reported.

In his book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers“, and in an article published in D Magazine, Doug J. Swanson explains how during almost 200 years of patrolling Texas, many Texas Rangers “performed countless acts of bravery and heroism.”

But, Swanson says, some Texas Rangers were also responsible for “terrifying atrocities, including massacres on the Texas-Mexico border.”

The Texas Ranger statue that was at Dallas Love Field turned out to be especially problematic.

Sgt. E.J. “Jay” Banks, the Texas Ranger who served as the model for the statue at Dallas Love Field, was the commanding Ranger on the scene in 1956 when attempts were made to integrate the high school in Mansfield, near Dallas.

“But unlike state police in other Southern racial hotspots, the Rangers in Mansfield did not escort black students past howling mobs of white supremacists. They had been sent instead to keep the black children out of a white school,” Swanson writes, “A wire service photo showed [Banks] casually leaning against a tree outside Mansfield High. To his left, above the school’s entrance, was a dummy in blackface, hanging from a noose.”

What will happen to the statue – the spot it once filled at Dallas Love Field Airport?

According to an airport spokesman, “It has been placed into storage and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture will lead the conversations and decisions as to what will happen to it next. There is no plan at this time to place anything else in that space.”

ATL: 5 Things We Love About Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series on StuckatTheAirport.com continues today with some of the features and amenities that delight us at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Keep in mind that some amenities at ATL and other airports may be temporarily suspended or unavailable right now due to health concerns, but we’re confident they’ll return.

If we don’t include your favorite service or amenity at ATL airport or if you’d like to nominate an airport to be featured, please add a note in the comment section below.

Want to sponsor one or more of the entries in the “5 Things We Love at …” series? Get in touch.

5 Things We Love About Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

1. The art at ATL

Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has an extensive collection of art and history exhibits throughout the domestic and international terminals spaces, in all seven concourses, and in connecting walkways between concourses.

Here are just a few of the pieces in ATL’s art and history collection:

Photos and artifacts pay tribute to Civil Rights leaders John Lewis (Domestic Atrium) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Concourse E).

Flight Paths, by Steve Waldeck (in the underground walkway between Concourses A and B) simulates the sights and sounds of a walk through a Georgia forest.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a series of Zimbabwean stone sculptures, a selection of images from National Geographic’s Photo Ark project, and many more permanent and temporary exhibitions.

2. Kid stuff at ATL

Kids will enjoy finding some of the cool and quirky art exhibits at ATL, including the Lunch Box Time Capsule exhibit on the boarding level of Concourse E (near Gate E14).

Fun too: a ride on the airport’s Plane Train. Just be sure to get a spot in the front or back car for a cool view of the tunnels between concourses.

 

3. Shopping at ATL

ATL is home to the World’s Largest Hudson shop, which is actually a collection of shops within a shop. In addition to Georgia-themed-souvenirs, you’ll find old-school candy, plenty of books and even some vinyl records.

4. The ATL Canopies

The two massive canopies over the north and south sides of the domestic terminal at ATL are part of a multi-billion dollar capital improvement project.

Each canopy is nearly 900 feet long – the length of nearly three football fields. In addition to being waterproof, the translucent arches can also be lit up in a wide variety of colors.

5. Lav lights at ATL

Two pairs of restrooms (at Gates B18 & B23) use red or green lights to signal when a restroom stall is occupied or empty. (Brilliant!) The system also tracks restroom usage so the janitorial staff knows when a lav needs to be cleaned. A nice partnership between TRAX and Tooshlights and ATL.