HISTORY OF LOVE FIELD PUBLIC ART
The newly renovated Dallas Love Field Airport terminal will be a spectacular gateway to the City of Dallas, showcasing modern architectural design that celebrates the historical origins of the airport terminal from the 1960s. Well-lit open spaces will showcase public artwork specially-commissioned for the airport.
The City of Dallas Public Art Collection at Love Field will feature 15 pieces of artwork when renovations conclude in 2014. Visitors will enjoy the new airport facilities and experience a vibrant collection of artwork created by local, regional and national artists. The Love Field Public Art Collection includes 11 new commissions. Four works are original to the airport. 13 of the pieces are easily accessible to the public, located near the parking garage, at the terminal entrance and in the public area of the main terminal. Brochures detailing information about the artists and artwork can be found in numerous locations throughout the airport and on the Love Field Airport website.
The Love Field Public Art Program features themes related to the history and legacy of Love Field Airport. The artwork represents the outstanding contributions of artists from Dallas and beyond, enriching the experience of airport visitors and showcasing new additions to the City of Dallas Public Art Collection. With a dedication to cultivating local talent, 45 percent of the artwork in the Love Field Collection was created by artists who live and work in Dallas.
HISTORY OF DALLAS LOVE FIELD AIRPORT
Established by the U.S. Army on October 19, 1917, the City of Dallas will celebrate Love Field’s 100th anniversary in 2017. The original airport consisted of only a few hangars and a grass landing strip located in the countryside beyond the Dallas city limits. The airport was named for Military Aviator Moss Lee Love who was killed in a 1913 San Diego flying accident.
By 1929, Love Field had become a commercial airport. Airline service first came to Love on June 1, 1929. Delta Air Service operated the first passenger flight from Dallas to Jackson, Mississippi, via Shreveport and Monroe. Early flights operated from a passenger terminal near Bachman Lake, which later served as Southwest Airlines' first Headquarters Building. In 1940, a new terminal opened at the end of what is now George Coker Circle just off Lemmon Avenue. After World War II, the building was expanded twice to meet the need for additional air travel.
The current Love Field terminal opened in 1958. The building featured three concourses with moving sidewalks and a popular restaurant above the main lobby. The newly established terminal secured its place in the nation's history on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy arrived for what would be his final journey. Later that afternoon, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the new president aboard Air Force One as it was parked at the east concourse.
By the late 1960s, all commercial traffic landed at Love Field Airport. It was the primary airport for North Central Texas until Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport opened on January 13, 1974. As construction began on the new DFW Airport in 1969, all of the existing airlines signed agreements to move their flights to the new airport when it opened.
Due to legal proceedings in an attempt to prevent its formation as an intrastate carrier, Southwest Airlines was not in operation when the DFW agreement was signed. Southwest Airlines began service on June 18, 1971 with flights between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio using gates acquired from Delta Airlines. The new and struggling low cost carrier felt its survival hinged on being able to serve the Houston and San Antonio markets from Love Field, and it fought to stay at Love. Years of legal battles culminated on January 28, 1977 when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction by U.S. District Court Judge William Taylor that allowed Southwest Airlines to remain at Dallas Love Field. The Supreme Court refused to override the ruling.
After the other carriers moved to DFW in 1974, the City of Dallas opened an ice rink inside the terminal lobby. On Super Bowl Sunday of that year, Southwest Airlines moved its headquarters from the North Concourse to the old American Airlines concourse. In the period up to 1978, Southwest began service to almost every major city in Texas from Dallas Love Field. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 brought price and route competition to the skies over America. Deregulation came about primarily due to the success of intrastate carriers like Southwest. The new legislation gave Southwest the opportunity to serve cities beyond Texas, and in 1979 the carrier was awarded the Dallas/New Orleans route – it’s first outside of Texas. Alarmed that interstate service from Love Field would harm DFW Airport, House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth introduced legislation that would restrict interstate service from Love. The final version of the law prohibited service between Love Field and any point outside of Texas, including the four contiguous states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The 1997 Shelby Amendment added Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi to the Love Field Service Area, and Missouri was added in 2005.
Other carriers, including Braniff, Texas International, American, Continental, Delta, and Legend, served Love Field during the 30 years that followed the opening of DFW International Airport. During that period, the terminal would also change and adapt. The original red façade was replaced with the current metallic look, a new air traffic control tower opened, and a new multi-story parking garage was constructed. Security checkpoints were enlarged to meet the needs of a post-9/11 world. The Wright Reform Act of 2006 became law in October of that year and was the result of an agreement between the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the DFW International Airport Board, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. The new legislation allowed through ticketing and one-stop, direct flights to points beyond the Love Field Service Area to begin immediately. In 2014, all domestic flight restrictions of the Wright Amendment will be repealed.