AKA: Sea-Tac International Airport, Sea-Tac, WA

Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - airports

Designers: Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson, (NBBJ) (firm); William James Bain Sr. (architect); Clifton J. Brady (architect); Perry Bertil Johanson (architect); Floyd Archibald Naramore (architect); Richard Zieve (architect)

Dates: constructed 1942-1944

Sea-Tac, WA

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map

The Port of Seattle began plans for constructing a new civilian airport following the military's takeover of Boeing Field on 12/06/1941. Funded by a $1 million grant from the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), $100,000 from the City of Tacoma, and its own revenue, construction of Sea-Tac Airport's first phase finished in 1944. As a condition of the City of Tacoma's contribution to the airport's construction, the city government insisted that the name "Tacoma" appear in the facility's title in some form. Three years later, Sea-Tac Airport's regular passenger flights began. On 07/09/1949, an expanded $11 million facility served five airlines: United (once a Boeing company), Western, Northwest, and Pan American World Airways, and with the inauguration of Northwest's service to Tokyo, Japan, the new airfield became known as "Sea-Tac International Airport."

In 2007, Sea-Tac International Airport handled about 1,000 flights a day and served 29.9 million passengers in 2006. In 2009, Sea-Tac stood as the 17th busiest in the US, having served 31,227,512 passengers, accommodated 317,873 aircraft operations and handling 269,804 in cargo. (See "Airport Statistics,"Accessed 01/04/2011.)

Runway number one was enlarged to accommodate the greater speeds of jets in 1959, and further enhanced in 1961, beefing up its proportions in anticipation of a tourist crush for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The second runway, a huge parking facility, two satellite terminals and other additions occurred during a large expansion carried on from 1967-1973. Due to increased airline travel, port officials made plans beginning in 1994 for a third runway. The addition of this runway became a highly-charged political issue, with adjacent neighborhoods trying to block the Port from embarking on the project. Despite this resistance, Sea-Tac began, in the early 2000s, a $4.5 billion expansion that included a new third runway, a new central terminal, and a new concourse. NBBJ designed the main architectural feature of the 2000 expansion, the 70-foot-high, steel and glass South Hall; partner, Rick Zieve served as the NBBJ lead partner on the project. Civil engineering improvements cost $250 million alone and covered 22 acres. According to the web site of the civil engineering firm participating on the expansion, ACM Engineering: "Site improvements included relocation of 1,400 feet of the cargo and ground transportation access road with runoff water quality treatment, retaining walls, and a ground transportation parking lot. Utility work included relocation of existing 12- and 24-inch water mains and installation of new 12-inch water mains (2100 feet); storm drainage (5100 feet) and industrial waste systems (2700 feet) with pump stations; sanitary sewers (2300 feet)." (See http://www.acm-engineering.com/id13.html Accessed 06/02/2008)

PCAD id: 7273