End of an Era at SJC

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010  |  Updated 4:42 PM PDT
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Sneak Peak at the New SJC

Garvin Thomas

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Meet the Biggest Star to Walk Through Terminal C

As they close down Terminal C at SJC, we take a walk down memory lane.
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It's the end of an era in San Jose. By midnight, the final passengers will have made their way to and from flights at old Terminal C.

SJC’s Terminal C was built in 1965.  Next up is the wrecking ball.  Like the old Joni Mitchell song, they are going to "pave paradise and put up a parking lot."  Not that it was paradise, but you get the point.  The space that was Terminal C will become parking spaces.

Beyond nostalgia and those long walks in the open air to the jet-way, one of the things that will get whacked with that wrecking ball is a massive mural by artist Millard Sheets. The painting has donned the wall of the terminal since 1977. It depicts the history of the Santa Clara Valley and was a gift to the city from the San Jose Mercury News.

Try as they might, the experts could not find a way to save the canvas so it will have to be destroyed.  Sheets is infamous for his mural outside the Notre Dame football stadium known as "Touchdown Jesus."

People going to and from flights on Tuesday didn't seem to care much when reporters asked about the closing. They are the business travelers or tourists who are only touching down in San Jose for a quick trip.   It's the people reading this story, who have live in San Jose for a few years that will miss the terminal.  It wasn't fancy, but it was very "San Jose."

If you are taking the red-eye to Atlanta tonight, you will be in the last group of people to walk on to a plane.  If you are flying home from Salt Lake City landing at 10:41 p.m. you will be the last to walk to the luggage carousel and make the final short walk to the taxi line.

Come Wednesday morning passengers on Delta and Alaska will move on over to the brand new Terminal B.  US Airways moves to Terminal A.

Lori Preuitt thinks another truly San Jose spot is Happy Hollow Zoo. You are a true San Jose-an if you can see its charm.

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