Flight Blog


The 10th anniversary of the airport’s current terminal is on May 6. To mark the birthday we’re spending the next few weeks looking back at the airport’s previous terminals.

In last week’s post our photos ended in the mid-1970s, so that’s where we’ll start this time.

The first seven photos in this post show the 1964 terminal in the 1970s and 1980s. Notice the photo showing the lone man watching TV in a lounge area. Look at the Zenith Television display. This was back in the day when Zenith had a huge (more than a million square feet) manufacturing plant in Springfield.

In May of 1991 a third of the 1964 terminal was torn down and about 53,000 square feet of new building was added. The remake was called “Terminal 2000.” It served until May 5, 2006 — the terminal closed after the last flight arrived that evening. Most of the building now serves as office space for the travel company Expedia. The last photo shows some of the Expedia office space; it occupies the old ticket counter area.

In next week's post we'll break ground for the airport's current terminal.


The 1964 terminal seen here in the mid-1970s.


The baggage claim area in 1979.


A lounge area in 1981.


Lines at the ticket counters in 1985.


Summer 1987.


Summer of 1987.


Holiday season, 1986.


A post card from 1992. It's showing off the
remodelof the 1964 terminal, called "Terminal 2000."


1992. Remember the 1945 terminal in previous
posts? It was located between gates 4 and 5 in this photo.


The front curb of the terminal in 2006.


The second floor of the terminal in 2006.




2007. During its last few years of service
the 1964 terminal tended to be very crowded.






2010. The old terminal is converted into office space for Expedia.




May 6 marks the 10th anniversary of the airport’s current terminal. To mark the birthday we’re spending the next few weeks looking back at the airport’s previous terminals.

Our previous post ended with the photograph that begins this post: three men looking at what appears to be building site plans for the airport’s second terminal. It’s 1961. The man in the middle is the airport’s second director, Lester Jones.

The second photo is from 1962 or 1963. It shows the second terminal being built right in front of the first terminal. It’s an interesting photograph for several reasons, but we want to point out is that that it shows us where the photo of the three men was taken.

Take a look at the enlarged area of the terminal photo. See the travel trailer the trio stood next to? The trio photo was taken in the area between the trailer and the chain link fence.

The photos document continuous change: the old radar tower goes away. The control tower is torn down. Parking lots get bigger. Check out the comparison views in photo nine. It shows the second terminal in about 1970. Then you see the same view as shown on Google Maps today. The last five photos show an airport brochure from about 1965.

In next week’s post we’ll continue our look back at the second terminal. By the time it was retired, in 2009, it didn’t bear much resemblance to the way it started out in 1964!


Click for bigger version

The airport's second director, Lester Jones, stands in the middle.




The trio was photographed standing next to the
travel trailer which served as the airport cop shop.


C.1964. The second terminal under construction.


C.1964. The second terminal under construction.


C.1964. The second terminal shown after completion.
This photo was on the cover of the Springfield phone book.


A post card from the mid 1960's shows the second terminal.


c.1970. The Delta airliner is a Convair 240.
The hanger building in the background still stands.
It's now home to Premier Flight Center,
and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Check it out in the comparison photos.


Photo on the right c.1970.
Image on the right is from Google Maps
and shows what the view looks like today.


We spy two 1967 Ford Galaxies.
Anyone see any cars newer than that?
Right now we're going to call this 1967!


The second terminal in the mid 1970's.


Airport brochure, c.1965.


Airport brochure, c.1965, page 2.


Airport brochure, c.1965, page 3.


Airport brochure, c.1965, page 4.


Airport brochure, c.1965, page 5.



Our airport’s “new” terminal is almost 10 years old. It opened May 6, 2009.

Depending on your point of view, it seems like yesterday, or ages ago. Either way, the building isn’t that “new” anymore and things have changed a lot in the past ten years.

That being said, it's a good time to begin looking backwards and forwards. Over the next five weeks we’ll share photos of the airport’s historic terminals, along with the current one.

You’ll notice that there’s a constant at the airport: change. As our first director, Lester Jones, put it, “There are two kinds of airports: obsolete and those under construction.”

Begin at 5000 West Kearney Street — the location of the airport’s first and second terminal buildings.

The first photo shows the airport's first terminal building in July 1945. That’s the month the airport opened. The white frame colonial style building was meant to be temporary, but it served for 19 years! Notice how quickly it changed. Additions and annexes popped up, then a control tower, quickly followed by a radar tower.

The last photo foretells big changes. That’s Lester Jones in the middle, the airport’s first director. It’s November 1961. We’re not sure, but the trio appears to be looking at site plans for the second terminal. But wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. That will have to wait until the next post!

The airport's first terminal in July 1945. Click for a bigger version.


Wildlife control in 1951. The first terminal is in the background. Click image
to see bigger version.


The airport's first terminal seen here in the 1950s. Click for bigger version.


Troop movements in the 1950s. Click image to bigger version.


Radar equipment being installed in the 1950s. Click for bigger version.


The first terminal in 1958, seen from an arriving airliner. Click for bigger version.



The first terminal, 1958. Click for bigger version.


The first terminal seen here in 1958. Check out the 23 window VW bus! Click image for 
bigger version.


November 1961. The airport's first director, Lester Jones, stands in the middle.