Skip to main content

Former Greater Pittsburgh International Airport Terminal

For just over four decades, the former main terminal of Greater Pittsburgh International Airport was the city's gateway to the world.  Located nearly 20 miles west of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Joseph Hoover designed terminal would see millions of travelers pass through its doors.  Known best for the terrazzo compass in the main lobby, the terminal had many other distinguishing features.  The well landscaped entrance that led up to the curved stepped design of the terminal. Each level of the terminal would extend out further than the other allowing for numerous observation decks.  The most popular observation deck, the "Horizon Room", was located on the fourth floor.

The former Greater Pittsburgh Airport Terminal - October 1998

From when it opened in the Summer of 1952 until its closing on September 30, 1992, the terminal would grow from a small regional airport to the main hub for USAir.  The terminal would see numerous expansions and renovations over its 40 years of service.  Expansions in 1959, 1972, and 1980 increased the capacity at the terminal; but by the 1980s, the main terminal was overcrowded, outdated, and becoming obsolete.  With funding secured, the Allegheny County Airport Authority would begin construction on the new Landside Terminal in 1987.  The new terminal would be located on the opposite end of airport property in Findlay Township.  The new modern terminal would open October 1, 1992.
The old entrance way to the main pick-up and drop-off at the old terminal. (October 1998)
The old terminal would sit empty - with the exception of some offices - for the next five years.  Demolition of the old terminal began in 1997 - only to be halted for asbestos removal.  During that time period, numerous proposals and ideas would be floated to develop the old terminal and the land around it.  Proposals from building new sports stadiums, preserving it for a transportation museum, an indoor NASCAR track, along with other ideas.  After the asbestos abatement was completed, the demolition of the old terminal would resume in 1999.  Eventually, the old terminal would be demolished and redeveloped as a business park.
This gives you an example of the stepped levels of the old terminal. (October 1998)
The old terminal was located along what is now Business Interstate 376 and University Blvd (Then the Airport Parkway and Beers School Road) in Moon Township.   As a student at Robert Morris College in the late 1990s, I would drive past the empty old terminal very often.  In addition to the old terminal, the former rental car lots, motels, and other businesses that supported the old airport were either gone or on their last days - a sign of not only the main terminal's relocation but also the changing needs of business travelers to more modern standards.  In the Fall of 1998, a friend and I explored the old terminal. Of course, I only had a disposable camera then - and a number of shots I took never came out.  It was the only time in the nearly four years at RMC that I took time to explore the old gem.  The photos within this feature are all of the exterior grounds of the old terminal.

A view at one of the abandoned parking lots at the old airport through one of the many chain-link fencing that was in place (October 1998)
I never flew in or out of the old terminal.  I vaguely recall picking up my Grandparents at the old airport in the 1980s and remembering it was a big deal to go out there.  Though the airport was long abandoned when I explored it on a gloomy fall day in 1998 there were still a lot of old pieces of the airport still in place.  It is one of those things where you wish you had today's technology (digital or cell phone cameras) back then.  If you have any photos or history you'd like to share about the old airport terminal, leave a comment or send us an e-mail.  I'd like to expand this feature as time goes on.
Access to the old terminal was pretty easy as many of the old parking lots were not closed off.  The entrance from the Airport Parkway was still open.  I don't think you would have seen that lax of security at the old terminal today.  (October 1998)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Sierran Death Highway, Blackrock Road

Back in 2016 I was pursuing dangerousroads.org looking for a interesting paved road akin to Kaiser Pass Road and Mineral King Road both which I had done earlier in the year.  I found what I was looking for in Blackrock Road located in rural eastern Fresno County at the confluence of the Kings River with it's North Fork.


Suffice to say that if I was looking roadways on dangerousroads.org it probably lends suggestion that Blackroad is somewhat on the hazardous side, it is.  Blackrock Road is an approximately 26-27 mile long one-lane road located in Sierra National Forest.  Blackrock Road is partially paved running from the Bailey Bridge at the Kings River north to the Wishon Reservoir roughly following the west bank of the North Fork Kings River.  Every documentation I've seen shows the road is really spelled "Blackrock" as opposed to "Black Rock" like the nearby Pacific Gas & Electricity Reservoir.

My goal on Blackrock Road was simple; I wanted to see al…

Ghost Town Tuesday; Mannfield, FL and the stairway to Hell

Back in 2015 I went searching the Lecanto Sand Hills for the original Citrus County Seat known as Mannfield.  Unlike Centrailia in Hernando County and Fivay in Pasco County I did find something worth seeing.



Mannfield is located in the Lecanto Sand Hill section of Withlacoochee State Forest somewhat east of the intersection of Citrus County Route 491 and Mansfield Road.

Mannfield was named after Austin Mann and founded in Hernando County in 1884 before Citrus County Split away.  In 1887 Citrus County was split from northern Hernando County while Pasco County was spun off to the south.  Mannfield was selected as the new Citrus County seat due to it being near the county geographic center.  Reportedly Mannfield had as many as 250 people when it was the County Seat.  The town included various businesses one might include at the time, even a sawmill which was common for the area.  In 1891 Citrus County voted to move it's seat to Inverness which set the stage for the decline of Mannfi…

Route 66 Wednesdays; The Twin Arrow Trade Post and Padre Canyon

Back in 2015 I revisited some of my favorite derelict haunts along former segments of US Route 66 between Flagstaff and Winslow.  The first stop was east of Winona at the Twin Arrows Trade Post.   The ruins of the Twin Arrow Trade Post is located immediately east of Padre Canyon off of I-40/US 180 exit 219.






The Twin Arrows Trade Post was originally started in the late 1940s as the Canyon Padre Trading Post.  Apparently business at the Canyon Padre Trading Post didn't start taking off until the two 25 foot arrows pictured above were put in and the name was changed to the Twin Arrows Trade Post in 1954.  I'm to understand the name change to Twin Arrows was partially inspired by close proximity to the Navajo Nation in addition to the booming business at the nearby Two Guns Trade Post to the east at Canyon Diablo.  The Twin Arrows Trade Post shuttered for good in the 1990s and has been sitting on the south side of I-40/US 180 ever since.  To the north of I-40/US 180 the Twin Arrow…