Press Release

The 1954 San Francisco International Airport Terminal


CONTACT: Charles Schuler  
Director of Marketing & Communications
San Francisco International Airport 
(650) 821-5031

The 1954 San Francisco International Airport Terminal
Exhibition at SFO’s new Sky Terrace explores airport history and architecture

SAN FRANCISCO— The airline industry soared to new heights in the 1950s. Driven by great advances in aviation technology and a burgeoning consumer market, new commercial airliners introduced the future of air travel to the next generation of passengers. To keep pace with the revolution in commercial aviation, major airports around the world updated their facilities with longer runways, expansive taxiways, and modern passenger terminals.

Construction of a new terminal at San Francisco Airport began in 1951. Designed in the International Style, the seven-story building employed an innovative, dual-level layout that separated departures from arrivals. Dedicated roadways streamlined traffic to the terminal, and panoramic views of the airfield and San Francisco Bay were provided from multiple spectators’ terraces. The terminal building was dedicated on August 27, 1954, at the renamed San Francisco International Airport during a three-day open house and flight festival attended by nearly 600,000 visitors. This exhibition features a selection of objects and historic imagery from the first decade of operations at the 1954 International Terminal building. All material is from the collection of SFO Museum.

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The 1954 San Francisco International Airport Terminal is located pre-security in Sky Terrace on the fourth floor of Terminal 2, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition opens Friday, February 14th, and is accessible to the public daily from 8:00am to 10:00pm.

About SFO Museum

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2019, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features thirty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on,, or

About San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 45 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 86 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines.  SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and