New Airport Carpeting Heralds the End of an Era

A surprising amount of social media backlash followed an announcement by Portland International Airport (PDX). No, they aren’t changing safety regulations or raising the prices on parking. All the hubbub has come about because Portland International Airport is replacing its carpet.

The current carpet spanning the 14 acres of airport floor was installed in 1987. It is turquoise in hue, with purple, red, and blue geometric lines and squares meant to represent the runways as seen from above. The airport decided, after a recent review, that the carpet had outlived its usefulness, with worn spots, stains, and spooling.

Why the uproar over a routine carpet replacement? It seems that the PDX carpet has a bit of a fan following. With its own Facebook page and an Instagram hashtag (#PDXCarpet) applied to over 20,000 photos. The carpet’s iconic design has been printed on T-shirts, magnets, and planner covers. It was applied to a pair of sneakers to announce the launch of Adidas’ custom sneaker app. Rogue Brewery, a microbrewery from Oregon, even created a new beer called the “PDX Carpet IPA,” featuring the iconic carpet design on its label.

The new carpet design will also be teal and feature geometric shapes that represent landmarks surrounding the airport, and it has been specially engineered for durability. Steve Johnson, spokesperson for the Port of Portland, told KPTV that project engineers are trying to decide what to do with the old carpet once it is removed.

“We are inviting businesses/individuals to register as vendors to possibly receive large quantities of the old carpeting for free with the expectation that they will make small quantities available for sale to individuals who are interested,” he added.

The carpet is set to be removed this month, with the renovations slated for completion by the end of the year. If you don’t make it to Oregon in time to view the famous carpet in person, fear not. There will always be #PDXCarpet.

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