July 1, 2019
Sea-Tac’s birthday was Monday July 9, 1949 but here at the Port of Seattle, we’ll be celebrating all month.
Sea-Tac’s official dedication on July 9, 1949 drew more than 30,000 people to celebrate the construction of a modern new administration building, passenger terminal, and the official naming of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A four-story, 234,000 square foot office and terminal complex replaced the makeshift World War II - era buildings that first served Sea-Tac’s first airline passengers.
The new passenger terminal offered a vast improvement over the previous Quonset hut — where passengers awaited flights warmed with just the heat of a single, potbellied stove. At the time, the gleaming white building with its soaring control tower and airy, glass-walled concourses was hailed as America's most advanced airport terminal. The four airlines that served the region shifted their flights from Boeing Field to Sea-Tac, which served 1500 passengers a day on 60 scheduled flights. Inside the terminal, Sea-Tac didn’t disappoint. Travelers enjoyed fine dining, a barbershop, gift shop, and a lounge complete with a jazz pianist and singer.
Fast forward to July 9, 2018. As Sea-Tac Airport celebrates its 69th birthday, the airport and region is in the midst of massive growth, and the Port of Seattle is making big changes to meet demand and enhance the passenger experience. Repeated expansions and modernizations of terminals have rendered the original 1949 structure barely recognizable.
How did we get here? Check out this timeline of milestones in Sea-Tac’s history.
For More Information:
Want more airport history? Take a look at HistoryLink.
July 1, 2019
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