Hopkins Flooring Project Well Under Way – OPShots.net

Part of the flooring project on the C concourse. Photo: Chuck Slusarczyk Jr. - OPShots.net

(July 20, 2011)  -If you haven’t been to Cleveland Hopkins airport for a while, you are missing out on a remarkable transformation underway.  The transformation takes the form of a new project that will see all the carpeting replaced with brand-new terrazzo flooring complete with dynamic  graphics and vibrant murals.

The gray carpeting that was ubiquitous throughout the airport was never very popular or attractive, often smelled musty, and was very difficult to keep clean.  Furthermore, it was just plain boring!

In one of the boldest terminal improvement moves to come in recent years, airport administrators decided to put in new flooring that breaks up the monotony of the gray, and replaces it with designs that actually make you feel like you’ve either arrived at or are getting somewhere!  Although only a small portion is complete, one can’t but help but think that the visually stimulating finished product will be a good way to subtly entertain yourself on your way to your gate, or a cheerful way to be welcomed to Cleveland.

In addition to the new concourse walkways, the flooring will be interspersed with seven large murals depicting “Cleveland, A Green City on a Blue Lake, past, present and future.”   The first of these murals, titled “Hooked on Cleveland”,  by artist Claire Sullivan was unveiled on June 2, 2011  by Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, airport director Ricky Smith, and other dignitaries.  This attractive mural can be found just airside of the C concourse TSA screening area and features a depiction of Lake Erie with a large walleye fish center stage, and a variety of other iconic Lake Erie and Cleveland symbols along the border and elsewhere throughout the piece.  A complete listing of all seven permanent artworks can be found here:  https://www.clevelandairport.com/Airport-Guide/News—Media-Relations/Press-Releases/Cleveland-Hopkins-unveils-Terrazzo-Floor-Artwork.aspx

The flooring project is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to plans for CLE Hopkins.  A master plan designed to take the airport through the year 2035 addresses many current issues and draws plans for future improvements, all designed to make the airport more functional, increase capacity, and improve the infrastructure.  One of the design plans calls for a dedicated cargo facility above and beyond the already spoken for FedEx and UPS ramps, allowing for lucrative cargo movements to be handled by other freight carriers as well, which will help to bring additional dollars to the city.

Although already behind schedule, preparation work for a new FAA control tower is currently underway.  This tower will be located between the airport post office and the I-X Exposition Center, replacing the present tower which was opened in 1999.  Existing plans call for it to be 300 feet in height eclipsing today’s tower by eighty feet thus providing much better visibility for the air traffic controllers.  Further to the tower, the new facility will also include the latest in ATC technology as well as a greatly expanded radar facility.

A view of the C concourse showing the carpeting which is in the process of being replaced. Photo: Chuck Slusarczyk Jr. - OPShots.net

Cleveland’s Hopkins International airport (formerly Cleveland Municipal), was at one time at the leading edge of all things aviation…it was home to the first purpose-built air traffic control tower and played host to the original National Air Races, which were attended by all the aviation dignitaries of the time.  Famous aviators such as Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle and many more were regular visitors.  In addition to all the aviation history made here, space and aeronautical research history was made on the west side of the field through the contributions of  NASA’s famed Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn)  during the Cold War and the Space Race, ultimately helping man achieve supersonic flight and travel to the moon.

Such an auspicious place certainly deserves a nice doorstep,  and the new flooring project is a small but good start in an effort that should go a long way in making Cleveland an attractive place to disembark.  Whether you are coming home or just passing through, it will certainly be something you notice!

Illuminated by the skylights, this is a portion of the new flooring going down on the C concourse at CLE. Photo: Chuck Slusarczyk Jr. - OPShots.net

-Chuck Slusarczyk Jr. – OPShots.net



About the author

Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.

I started OPShots in June 2006 as a place to share and display aviation photos without the often restrictive policies of other aviation websites. I want to share my love of aviation with fellow aviation geeks and provide a spotlight on Cleveland Hopkins International airport in the process.


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  1. Chuck

    Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t the real issue, but what’s wrong with turning a negative into a positive?

  2. Chuck

    Do you really think so? I would think that by the time someone gets through security, removes their shoes, goes through the groping process then puts them back on that they will be pretty dried up by then? And the other way around wouldn’t be a problem because the people deplaning should be well and dry. I guess it remains to be seen but I don’t think it should really be an issue, and the overall look of the place just really sets a good tone, I think. No more stinky stained and dreary carpeting! I hope that’s how it all works out.

  3. Bobby Yo

    I’m all for improvements at CLE, but I think this is going to present a BIG problem come winter time with the floors being too slippery, and the airport’s terminal operations and cleaning staff being unable to keep up with wet, slippery, sloppy and squeaky floors.

  4. terrazzo flooring

    It’s amazing how this is done. This post went a little too fast for me. Couldn’t finish reading it fast enough, but I got a good visual.

  5. Bob

    Very interesting and informative article. I haven’t been to the airport for awhile. I am excited to see all the new changes. Thanks for the update.

  6. Bob

    Well done. Very informative and interesting.

  7. terrazzo flooring

    I’m looking for some really interesting flooring to use in different parts of my house, and would like ideas.. Thanks for sharing..

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