The Boston Logan International Airport in East Boston is the focal point of what ties Boston to the rest of the world today. Hundreds of international and US flights fly out of Logan every day to almost everywhere in the world. On June 13, 1923, Boston’s first aircraft touches down on a 1,500 foot long cinder runway on the small airfield known as Boston Airport. It was built by the U.S. Army on 189 acres of tidal flats (Massport). The airport was owned by the U.S. Army until 1928 when ownership was transferred over to the Massachusetts Legislature. Then in 1929 the City of Boston finally stepped in and took control of the airport signing a 20-year lease with the state. Soon after the state took control Boston’s City Council placed the airport under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department (Massport). This was great for the development and growth of the airport for the future as they immediately made several improvements. The runways were finally lengthened, access roads were paved and landscaped, an administration building was added, and two hundred more acres of land were reclaimed from Boston Harbor from it getting filled in.
One of the most interesting buildings at Logan is the new Terminal A which was the first LEED certified building at Logan and the first certified building at a United States airport. This terminal was designed by HOK Architects, a global firm that designs all types of projects from large government and commercial buildings to residential and recreation. A building that is LEED certified will be energy efficient and use resources responsibly such as materials sourced from recycled materials or water usage. Terminal A in Logan uses many aspects to improve efficiency and promote sustainability, of these improvements, the one that makes the greatest impact is the solar trees on top of the central parking garage. These solar trees provide about 2.5 percent of the terminal’s energy consumption. The solar trees take up no additional space from cars and provide coverage for cars on the top deck of the garage. This kind of improvement is the result of proactive thinking and careful planning that brings more efficiency and sustainability to the people, the airport, and the environment. Other important upgrades that contributed to the LEED certification include new wind turbines on top of Terminal A’s offices, and improvements to the roof and roadways of the terminal that reduced both the heat island effect and storm water runoff (Lyster 2013).
On September 9th 2008, a memorial was constructed on airport grounds and was selected by a committee comprised of Massport members, local architects, and family members of deceased crew and passengers. The design was chosen in a competition style, and almost all submissions were from local residents. The winning design, “Place of Remembrance” by Keith Moskow and Robert Linn of Moskow Linn Architects, sits on 2.5 acres of land at Logan airport and is available to visit at all hours. The design consists of many winding paths leading to a large walk-in glass sculpture that displays the names of all the deceased as well as a network of cables and reflective panels that open up to the sky. Most recently, Massport is currently funding a multi-million-dollar effort to make the airport more environmentally sustainable in preparation for climate change. These improvements include flood doors around the airport, moving generators to top floors of buildings in case of flood and storm surges. Due to the fact that the airport is almost completely surrounded by water, Thomas P.Gylnn, chief executive of Massport, believes that, “Over time, there’s reason to believe that we would experience some kind of storm system that would create that kind of flooding.” Other preparatory measures taken to prepare for climate change include cutting energy consumption by ¼ and reducing greenhouse gases by 2020. Massport also plans on cutting down water usage as well as reducing waste generated per passenger by two percent a year until 2030. Although Massport is funding some of these efforts, Logan also received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help fund these plans.
Lyster, C. (2013). “The Future of Mobility: Greening the Airport.” Places Journal. <https://placesjournal.org> (Mar. 29, 2017).
Massport. “Logan International Airport: Gateway to New England.” Massachusetts Port Authority. <https://massport.com> (Mar. 29, 2017).
Massport. “The Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial.” Massachusetts Port Authority. <https://www.massport.com/logan-airport/about-logan/911-memorial/> (Mar. 29, 2017).