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Our New Airport Terminal in Santa Barbara has a Channing Peake Mural!

Photo: Santa Barbara Historical Society

At first, nearly everyone’s response is ‘What?  Why does tiny Santa Barbara need a new airport terminal?’  I mean really, it is a small town, and the original terminal from 1942 is one of California’s treasures of aviation.  Quaintness personified.  Not particularly modern, but quaint.  Being members of the ‘airport community’ because we own a Beechcraft Bonanza,  and it’s our home airport, we are naturally fascinated with what’s happening at our home airport.  What we were mostly unaware of were the deficiencies in the existing 7000 square foot terminal building.  For example, there were no bathrooms in the gate area, and the baggage claim was outside.  So what.  What we also did not know is that it was bursting at the seams due to increased TSA requirements and increased traffic flow by more than 30% in the past 10 years.

So we have been following the new 60,000 square foot terminal building with curiosity and, as we are designers and builders, intrigue as to how the architecture would come together.  It was heartening to watch the structure take shape over the past couple of years and see the local architectural vernacular incorporated into the design.  That is when we started, albeit begrudgingly at first, to get excited about the change!

Channing Peake Mural at the Santa Barbara Airport

On a practical level, it will be nice to have a more efficient place to check in, breeze through security and to board aircraft through a jetway.  In addition, to have a nice facility as our town’s ‘Ambassador’ will be a bonus, but when we found out that the structure was slated to be LEED Silver and would qualify for LEED Gold status, we were especially pleased about these efforts in sustainability.  The architecture has been considerate of local artisans, and with our own appreciation of Channing Peake, arguably one of the greatest 20th Century artists of Santa Barbara  and a great California Cubist, Modernist and Muralist, we were happy to learn that a large mural of Peakes’ was installed and graces a  wall on the departures level at the top of the Escalator.

The Gala grand opening was a fun and exciting event for us.  John (right) and I were photographed in front of a vintage United Airlines DC-3 with our friend Marni Blau and her new Jimmy Choos. Not in Jimmy Choos, is our good friend and John’s first flight instructor Andrea Read owner of Spitfire Aviation.


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