Swooning Over Love Field — 1940

by Paula Bosse

love-field_1940Art Deco Love Field! (click for much larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I’m a huge-fan of the modern 1950s-era Love Field (the one with the Mockingbird Lane entrance), but even that can’t trump this fantastic building! Designed by architect Thomas D. Broad, the new Love Field administration building and terminal — which faced Lemmon Avenue — was unveiled on October 6, 1940 to rapturous acclaim. The night view above is pretty breathtaking. Forget the airfield. For me, it’s all about this entrance. Those windows. And those doors. And that font! And those little airplane pictographs!

love-field_terminal_1940It wasn’t bad in the daytime, either — just nowhere near as dramatic. And in dire need of landscaping.

love-field_ca1940_frontAnd here it is from the field side. Still swoon-worthy. The back of this postcard reads:

LOVE FIELD — NEW $225,000 ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
One of America’s finest air terminals which takes care of more airline passengers, more air mail and more air express in ratio to population than any other air port in the country.

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What happened to this beautiful building? I searched through the Dallas Morning News archives until I felt I had to throw in the towel, never finding a definitive answer. But here’s what I did find. When the brand-spanking-new terminal (the one we know today) opened in 1958, the 1940 terminal was vacated. A better word might be “abandoned.” Most assumed the building would be razed very soon after. But I got as far as September of 1964, and the old terminal was still standing. And it wasn’t pretty.

This excerpt from a larger article  in the DMN is painful to read (click for larger image):

love-field_dmn_070261DMN, July 2, 1961

And even more thoroughly painful is this article by Kent Biffle, “Ghosts Wait by Runway” (DMN, Feb. 2, 1961), in a PDF here.

The point at which I threw in the towel was this DMN photo from September 25, 1964, which I am assured has a hard-to-see old terminal still decaying at the top right:

love-field-new-runway_dmn_092564With the caption: “$4,000,000-Plus Runway Progress. The 8,800-foot parallel runway at Dallas Love Field, left center, is two-thirds completed and should be ready for use next spring. Otis Engineering buildings (foreground), to cost Dallas about $1,000,000 in negotiated costs, will be razed to make room. Mockingbird Lane runs across the bottom of the photo, Denton Dr. on left, Cedar Springs at center and Lemmon far right. The north-south runway, running horizontally, is at top of photo. Entire runway cost: $4,000,000-plus.”

I assume they razed that sucker pretty soon after this. …Possibly.

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Top photo from the post “The New Love Field” by Jacob Haynes, here.

Click pictures for larger images — the first two are HUGE!.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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