It begins: LAX to name prominent hall for Villaraigosa

laxtombradley-lawa.jpgQuick: can you recall a name of any specific room at Los Angeles International Airport? Me neither. I've mentioned before my take on LA's current bush-league impulse to promiscuously name buildings, street corners and transit stops for politicians and other living or recently deceased figures. I think it's lame and historically challenged. Now comes a plan by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Board of Airport Commissioners to name the new "great hall" of the expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal [grrr....: ed.] for the man who appointed them. The commission is expected to approve the Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion at its Tuesday meeting. I guess it's worth an ironic chuckle that the pavilion is late and over budget. At least they aren't naming it after an actor.

From LANG's airports reporter, Brian Sumers, in the Daily Breeze:

The honor should allow Villaraigosa to take a victory lap before he leaves office on June 30.

The terminal, announced in late 2008, was expected to be mostly open by now. But officials say the construction schedule was always a bit aggressive, and now the building is not supposed to fully open for at least another year. At one point, officials had hoped to at least open a large chunk of the terminal before Villaraigosa leaves office, but that also appears impossible now.

The resolution honoring Villaraigosa estimates the cost of the building at $1.7 billion, or $200 million greater than most of the estimates given by airport officials during the past year. But even though the airport is part of the city of Los Angeles, it is self-sufficient and does not use money from the city's general fund. Most of the building's costs will eventually be absorbed by airlines.

Airport Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey has said many of the delays were caused by unexpected work on utilities needed for the project.

Photo of Tom Bradley International Terminal: Los Angeles World Airports

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