I had to smile at Colin Gebhart's reference to Love Field's "60s architecture" (above). Dude, it's older than that, as many of us senior types well remember. You should have been there to hear the numerous airlines announcing their glamourous-sounding arrivals and departures at gates on the "red," "yellow," and "green" concourses. 707s and DC-8s, the biggest jets of that day, were routinely parked at those gates, and we would board and deplane using rolling stairways. Jet-bridges hadn't yet come into use. And Braniff's "flying colors" were everywhere. Now THERE was a classy airline.
The Luau Room, a fancy Polynesian-themed restaurant with great views, was as upscale as anything in Dallas -- or anywhere else. And just outside the restaurant up on the second level was a theater-style indoor observation room with tiered seating. You could also walk outside to an observation deck and stand under huge lighted red letters welcoming arriving visitors: DALLAS LOVE FIELD DALLAS. Does anyone else remember that little covered structure with a bench located just outside the baggage claim area where you could sit and watch the planes taxi within yards of you on their way to/from the south end of the west runway? Such access and lax security seem unbelievable these days.
When I first heard on the TV news (late 1960s) that Dallas and Fort Worth were planning to build a giant new airport, I couldn't believe it. Who would need or want to replace the world's greatest airport, I wondered. I sure hope the "new" Love Field terminal will evoke some of that mid-century look and atmosphere, when flying was exciting and glamorous, when traveling on jet planes was a thrill like no other, and when passengers wore their Sunday-best.
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