It's curtains for the beloved teal carpet of the Portland International Airport, which is getting torn up this month, and the news has been hard on many Portlanders, who have been mourning it on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #pdxcarpet. Designed in the late '80s by Portland architecture firm SRG Partnership, it has a geometric pattern said to represent an overhead view of the airport's intersecting runways. Many have attempted to attribute the poems, socks, shirts, Koozees, Twitter profiles, and tattoos that have popped up in the last few months to a mixture of overripe nostalgia, opportunism, and Portland being "quirky," but the feeling is pretty understandable, when you get a glimpse of what the new carpet looks like.
The new pattern, designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, has been said to preserve "key elements from the original 1987 design," but the magic just isn't there anymore. The invigorating, hard-to-categorize shade of blueish-green has been dulled to a run-of-the-mill forest-y kind. The geometric, Russian suprematist art vibes have been replaced by something that looks like a protractor trying to draw a sailboat. It's probably more exciting than most of the world's airport carpets, but the new primary colors have situated it firmly in the mid-'90 office-decor kind of postmodern, and probably not for the better.
Local businesses can apply to take away free 1,000-square-yard bundles of the old carpet, so it will likely live on in bits and pieces throughout the city.
· Portland's Messy Breakup With Its Airport Carpet [CityLab]