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National Airport Open After Costly Makeover

Mon., July 28, 1997

With soaring domes and glass everywhere, Washington’s newly renovated National Airport terminal opened for business Sunday, capping a $1 billion makeover of the airport that serves’s the nation capital.

A band played “When the Saints Go Marching In” and various other show tunes as the first official arrival flight - a US Airways commuter flight from Albany, N.Y. - let off its passengers.

The quarter-mile-long glass and steel passenger terminal, which cost $450 million, is the centerpiece of the $1 billion renovation of the airport, which for more than 50 years has been a favorite of congressmen, government officials and lobbyists because of its close proximity - just across the river - from Capitol Hill.

Designed by architect Cesar Pelli, the terminal features windows five stories tall, overlooking the Potomac River with a view of the Capitol dome, and a ceiling of 54 eyecatching domes of its own.

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