Merrell's solution is "The Sky Beneath Our Feet," a floor that will feature murals of five iconic
"The airport obviously is one of the most public faces of the city as a welcoming and beautiful place," Merrell said. "The current floor has been an aggravation for some time with the clickety-clack, and it's drab. It's a good time to make a change."
Airport Authority Acting Executive Director
"As we talked about replacing the floor, the board wanted the floor to be a piece of art itself," Gill said. "This is very sustainable and will ultimately reduce resources."
He said construction, which is under way, will be completed in the next 14 to 18 months.
The airport has come a long way in promoting art in the past few years, said
In 2011, the airport authority sparked controversy when they removed the 78-foot-long aluminum sculpture "Silver Grid Wall" near the center core above the escalators in favor of a banner advertisement.
"Am I happy the airport replaced that with an ad? No," said Piechocki, who supports the new floor. "But that controversy caused the airport to develop better public art (policies). Now there's an airport art committee, a bi-annual art plan, a gift policy and a de-accessing policy. I think they went from a C to an A. I won't say A-plus yet, but they're taking it seriously."
Critics of airport spending said
"This is not a museum. People don't go to hang out at the airport. If they are, it's because they're being delayed," said
"The airport authority keeps losing sight of what business they're in," said Jindel. "No one cares about the floor. Put the money in the bank."
Others say airports do need to keep an appealing facility to entice airlines and passengers.
"You need to impress people and you need to impress airlines," said
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