GIA international lounge put on 2014 list of Canada’s top-10 endangered places

Kevin Higgins
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Heritage Canada The National Trust has placed Gander International Airport’s international departures lounge on its list of Canada’s top-10 endangered places.

ENDANGERED – Gander’s Michael Fantuz is one of the local people who have gotten involved with finding ways to preserve Gander International Airport’s international departures lounge. Fantuz was one of the first to become involved with an online petition campaign.


In a news release today, the National Trust placed the international lounge on its list because “it was the centerpiece of the airport and is considered by design experts to be the single most important modernist room in Canada.”

In April at its annual public meeting, the Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA) announced it was pursuing plans to build a new, more efficient terminal building, citing the size and operational cost of the current one to be too large.

Since that time, public support to save the international lounge portion of the existing terminal has skyrocketed with three Facebook sites and an online petition launched. The Association of Heritage Industries Newfoundland and Labrador is also now facilitating discussions between key stakeholders.

In its release, Heritage Canada The National Trust said the international lounge “incorporates such striking elements as a 22-metre mural painted on-site by Kenneth Lochhead, geometric terrazzo floors, and cutting-edge furniture by renowned Canadian and international designers like Robin Bush, Jacques Guillon, and Arne Jacobsen. With the exception of an enclosed glass and aluminum corridor recently added for security reasons, the interior of the terminal’s International Departures Lounge is still in its original condition.”

According to the Heritage Canada The National Trust, its top-10 list draws attention to Canada’s threatened historic places, and is compiled from nominations received as well as from news items the National Trust has been following and reporting on throughout the year.

The National Trust’s mandate it is to inspire and lead action to save historic places, and promote the care and wise use of Canada’s historic environment.

Check back to read a more detailed story on what this status means for those trying to save the international lounge, or pick up the July 24 edition of The Beacon.





Organizations: The National Trust, Gander International Airport Authority, Heritage Canada Association of Heritage Industries Newfoundland and Labrador The Beacon

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Jane (Dempsey) Donnelly
    July 21, 2014 - 14:15

    My family was one of the first in Gander,Jim Dempsey (my father), was a Radio Officer there during WW2, later employed by MOT, Air radio Gander and maintained a lot of the equipment at Gander Airport. SO Gander Airport is part of my heritage, growing up in Gander was a great experience. I, also, signed the petition to keep the airport from closing and encouraged all I could contact to do the same. An important historical building. It should be made into a museum, I still return to Gander each year and am unable to visit the international lounge, such a shame as I remember spending quite a few Sunday afternoons, as a child, sitting in that lounge watching the activities. Lots of great memories.

    July 19, 2014 - 10:04

    You CANNOT tear down the BEST part of the airport. Every man, woman and child had spent the better part of EVERY SUNDAY at the OLD airport. I remember walking up there every Sunday and hanging out there till supper time to watch the planes and people. Get rid of the UGLY and waste of money NEW part, it looks more like a bus station and HEY, Gander don't like it JACK.