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Lambert Airport Goes Retro — With New Copper Roof, Baggage System

“This is one of the most recognized terminals, not only in the U.S., but in the world.”
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A historical photo of Lambert Airport with the original copper roof. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

A historical photo of Lambert Airport with the original copper roof. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s the end of two eras at Lambert Airport — one you’ll see, the other you won’t. And that’s the point.

The recognizable green patina roof on Terminal 1 is being replaced after almost 60 years. The new roof will also be copper and will be just as clean and shiny as the original was in 1956 and will transform over three decades to the now-familiar green.

“It’ll bring a significant pride value back to the people that were here when this terminal was erected and the joy that it brought and the recognition worldwide that it brought,” Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said at the announcement Tuesday.

The $6.7 million dollar roof replacement will cover the terminal’s historic domed vaults.

“It’ll be fun for the residents of our region and for kids who weren’t here in 1956 to see what this iconic terminal looked like — and to see it brought back to its original glamour,” Hamm-Niebruegge added. “This is one of the most recognized terminals, not only in the U.S., but in the world.”

What won’t be seen anymore are those bulky security screening machines in both terminals near the ticket counters. A new in-line screening system means passengers will be able to drop their luggage off at the counters, instead of lugging them to the security areas.

Hamm-Niebruegge: “I think everybody remembers, hopefully, what it was like prior to September the 11th. Those were the days when passengers would simply drop their bags off at the ticket counter and go on their way to the gates or to shoppping or to restaurants.”

The removal of the machines will alleviate sometimes severe overcrowding in Southwest Airlines’ increasingly popular Terminal 2.

“The T.S.A. machines that are there today take up about a third of that ticketing lobby, so as those are removed in the next couple of months, we’ll have an opportunity to see more queuing and a better flow,” Hamm-Niebruegge said.

Terminal 1’s new baggage system is already live. Terminal 2 is set to be turned on in April.

The new machines screen the baggage as it passes through on a belt and are also more sophisticated, allowing agents to take a 360 degree view of suitcases.

A depiction of how long it'll take for Lambert's new copper roof to turn the familiar green color. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

A depiction of how long it’ll take for Lambert’s new copper roof to turn the familiar green patina color. Click for a larger view. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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