Airport art project could cost $4 million

ATLANTA (AP) — The cost of an art installation designed to create a virtual forest at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has ballooned to $4 million — more than triple what it would have cost when the project was first proposed 10 years ago.

Steven Waldeck's "Flight Paths" would be the airport's most expensive and ambitious single project to date if approved. Airport officials will soon ask the city council to OK the project.

The installation, which would be paid for with airport funds set aside from fees, is raising questions about how much is too much to pay for airport art. Expensive artwork in airports is not new, with art projects and budgets in the millions of dollars at airports in cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Seattle and Dallas.

Such a project in Atlanta could be key to defining Atlanta as an international city, said Eddie Granderson, who oversees Atlanta's Public Art Program.

"It should have significant works of art that greet citizens as they come into the Atlanta area," said Granderson, whose program is separate from the airport art program.

But many Atlantans and travelers may not even see the project. "Flight Paths" is planned for the underground walkway between Concourses A and B — the airport's busiest — but most travelers use the Plane Train connecting the terminals.

If approved, the project will be funded as part of Atlanta's public art master plan, which calls for setting aside 1 percent of certain spending for art. The funds for airport construction come from passenger facility charges on air fares, lease payments by airlines and other sources such as parking and concessions revenue.


NewsReader 3 years, 5 months ago

I've got nothing against Art in our airports. But $4M? Seriously? We need this art over at Briscoe Field! LOL!


R 3 years, 5 months ago

"virtual forest at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has ballooned to $4 million"

You just gotta ask how many REEDS will be portrayed in that forest...


kevin 3 years, 5 months ago

No wonder fees are so high there. A slush fund for more waste. The City of Atlanta is nothing but a wasteful place to live. The Mayor and his cronies have gotten entrenched are looking all around to waste more money while the employees take a hit all the time. And the city wonders why they can't fix the things are ate broke? They waste too much money on projects that have no meaning. At an airport? Who cares. People come and go quickly to get in/out of there. This is all about some politicians' passion to spend money to a well-connected donator.


kayak 3 years, 5 months ago

What about all that African art that has been there for years? Whose basement will all that stuff end up in? What is the ROI with that fiasco?


kayak 3 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the soon-to-be new passenger terminal at Briscoe could make use of that slightly used African art currently at Hartsfied Airport?


teelee 3 years, 5 months ago

More reasons why we need an alternative to the mismanaged Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Imaging getting on a plane at Briscoe Field and jetting off non-stop to your favorite vacation place or city without the hassles and attitude you get when you drive down to Hartsfield-Jackson. To bad that sham of an airport committee refused to see this.


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