Portland International's Beloved Teal Carpet Makes a Comeback

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 1, 2024 00:30 AMNews
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Airplane on air. Source: unsplash

Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon is welcoming back its famous teal carpet, a staple of the airport's identity since 1988. After nearly a decade, the beloved carpet design is reintroduced, much to the delight of passengers and locals alike.

The flooring at airports seldom garners much attention, often overshadowed by more striking architectural features. Yet, at PDX, the distinctively patterned carpet had become more than just a surface to walk on. Its absence was felt among those who cherished its unique aesthetic, reflecting Portland's quirky and artistic spirit.

Originally installed in 1988, the carpet's teal, blue, purple, and red lines became a hallmark of Portland's airport, setting it apart from the standard, more subdued airport designs. Its removal in 2015 led to a city-wide surge in nostalgia, prompting the creation of merchandise ranging from clothing to beer labels adorned with the carpet's pattern, highlighting its unexpected cultural impact.

The decision to reintroduce the carpet aligns with ongoing renovations at PDX. Although the new carpet mirrors the original, it has been updated to meet modern standards, involving a meticulous recreation from preserved samples. The project, taking three times longer than planned due to its intricate design, represents a significant investment in preserving a piece of Portland's history.

Beyond its nostalgic appeal, the carpet's return is part of a broader update to the airport, which includes modernizing facilities and enhancing passenger experience. The reintroduction focuses on areas less trodden, like select seating zones, balancing nostalgia with practicality.

This revival showcases the strong community connection to the airport's design elements, a sentiment echoed in few other airports around the world. As PDX continues to evolve, the teal carpet stands as a reminder of the city’s vibrant culture and its residents' commitment to preserving what makes them unique.

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