King Count International Airport/Boeing Field

A photo tour of the aviation-themed art at Boeing Field

Then – Courtesy Washington State Historical Society

Boeing Field, officially King County International Airport (BFI), is located about 4 miles south of downtown Seattle and is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country.

A lot of avgeeks head to this airport for planespotting and there’s a dedicated outdoor viewing area on the north side of the terminal.

But today we want to share some photos of the aviation-themed artwork that is both in and outside of the terminal building.

The images and the descriptions come to us courtesy of Seattle’s 4Culture, which funds a wide range of cultural projects in King County. When Boeing Field’s circa-1928 Air Terminal Building was being refurbished and renovated for a 2003 reopening, 4Culture commissioned a collection of site-specific art for the terminal that celebrates aviation.

30,000 Feet – by Brad Miller

Brad Miller. 30,000 Feet, 2003. Rulers, neon, and color photographs. King County International Airport, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: Joe Freeman

30,000 one-foot wooden rulers flank the entry to the airport’s terminal building. They are arranged into two enormous arrows that point toward the ceiling and a pair of illuminated photographs.

One is a picture of clouds in a royal blue sky and is the view passengers often see when they’re flying at 30.000 feet in a commercial airplane.

The other photo is smaller and suspended below the first photo. This photo depicts a lush, dark evergreen forest that a passenger flying in a small aircraft at 2,000 feet might see.

Luminaries by Norman Courtney 

Norman Courtney (1947 – 2017). Luminaries, 2003. Aluminum, stainless steel, and glass. King County International Airport, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: Joe Freeman 

Bejeweled like 1930s pendants, these functional artworks by Norman Courtney reference Art Deco design elements and the history of the terminal building. They also conjure that era’s space-age imagery.

Our Place in Space – by Paul Marioni and Ann Troutner 

Paul Marioni and Ann Troutner. Our Place in Space, 2003. Glass terrazzo. King County International Airport, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: Joe Freeman 

The terrazzo floor inside the terminal building depicts the connection between the earth, the moon, and the cosmos. 

The building’s front doors open to a series of land and sea forms that represent North America. From there, a dark blue expanse sparkles with embedded glass, suggesting deep space—vast, fragile, and flecked with countless stars and other astronomical objects.

On the other side of the room, an image of the moon evokes cycles of waxing and waning, light and dark. When people walk from the entryway to the ticket counter they are walking to the moon.

Metropolis Fence Peter Reiquam 

Peter Reiquam. Metropolis Fence, 2004. Powder coated steel.  King County International Airport, Seattle, WA. King County Public Art Collection. Photo: Joe Freeman 

A fictional skyline with thunderclouds, searchlights, and a vintage Boeing 307 stretches across the steel fence by Peter Reiquam that links the main terminal building with the administrative building at King County International Airport.

All art photos courtesy of 4Culture.

Skip the TSA routine with these flying experiences

Getting to the airport, going through the security line, and waiting with a herd of other travelers to board a plane takes all the fun of out of air travel, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you rather get right to the thrilling part – flying?

For a story that went live on Bing Travel today, I found 10 small airports and flying experiences where you get to skip the TSA routine.  Here are a few photos we didn’t get to use in Easy Flier: 10 Airports that Reduce the Hassle.

For a tiny airport, the New Bedford Regional Airport in Massachusetts offers some surprising options.

(Courtesy Greg Cormier)

The only Ben & Jerry’s ice cream vending machine at an airport is located here, along with the Airport Grille, which has a pretty snazzy logo and, we hear, great food.  Learn about the airport’s candy-blue chairs and the routes-served here.

At the Rotorua Airport in New Zealand, you can usually skip security screening if you’re flying on a regional jet with fewer than 90 passengers. So you can spend your time instead learning about the life of Rotorua-born aviatrix Jean Gardner Batten and getting your picture taken with one of the 10 6-foot tall Maori-style carvings in the terminal.

The Easy Flier slide show has more information about 10 small “no-hassle” airports and flying experiences, including the King County International Airport/Boeing Field in Seattle, the Trail Regional Airport in Trail, British Columbia, which doubles as the clubhouse of a local flying club, and the Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage, AK.

Have a favorite small “no-hassle” airport? Share details of your find here.