(click on the photos to enlarge)
Those of us who work in Southwest's Headquarters building are surrounded by a veritable (gosh, I like that word) treasure trove of Southwest memorabilia and "stuff." Every hallway is a three-dimensional scrapbook of this great Company, and the building holds 35 years of memories. Trust me, those memories generate a lot items to be framed and displayed. I didn't know how many until I began doing research for a special edition of Airways Magazine about our 35th Anniversary, and I asked my Executive Office Coworker Jon Shubert for some details about the displayed items.
Jon is the "curator" of the building, and at the time I did my research, there were about 20,000 framed items on the walls, and hundreds of items in the 21 display cases scattered throughout the building. That was a few months ago, and the number continues to grow. Alan Potts, who is on Jon's Team, gets the primary job of hanging those new objets d'art.
So what kinds of things are on display in the building? For one, there are mannequins wearing almost all of the previous Flight Attendant uniforms, including those famous hot pants. The main entrance of the building is an airy atrium with giant scale models of our aircraft wearing all of Southwest's liveries suspended from the ceiling. One wall contains almost all of our print advertisements; others hold photos of Employees, Employees with their pets, and of Employees who came to us from other airlines; one wing of the building is filled with Southwest mementos; and scattered throughout the building are framed newspaper and magazine articles about Southwest.
And of course, there are airplane photos throughout, along with unusual Southwest clothing items. In the newer part of the building, the elevator lobbies contain bigger than life 3-D displays. On the first floor is the "Big T-shirt," and it consists of a giant T-shirt in front of framed displays of the various commemorative Southwest T-shirts. On the Big T-shirt itself is printed an inside Southwest joke: "How many Southwest Employees does it take to change a light bulb?" The answer is "Four. One to change the bulb and three to make the T-shirt." On the second floor is a depiction of the famous Malice in Dallas event, where Herb wrestled the CEO of Stevens Aviation for the right to us the slogan "Just Plane Smart."
I can't even begin to list all of the items on display, but the most impressive thing about how the building is decorated is that it makes the building a home. When the walls were repainted last year, they were bare for about a month, and the building seemed so sterile. It looked like an office building, not Southwest Headquarters, and working here that month made it seem like a job instead of an adventure.