'A piece of Kansas City history': Hundreds of chairs from the old KCI terminals are up for auction
A local auction company is selling the chairs, designed by Eames for Herman Miller, in a series of Thursday auctions. They usually sell for between $200 and $600 per lot.
Andrew Turner says the process of stripping the Kansas City International Airport's old terminals of the chairs is bittersweet.
His company, Andrew Turner Auctions, is one of two companies working with the airport. He says on the one hand, the process spurred by a brand-new terminal shows the city is growing — but on the other, it's prompted likely the last few trips to a place with many memories.
“Heck, I can remember coming here since I was a little kid,” Turner said. “It's really a piece of Kansas City history and memories of the airport.”
Two months ago, KCI opened a new terminal, leaving furniture from the old terminals unused with the demolition of the site imminent. Now, Kansas City residents have an opportunity to purchase the chairs where they waited for their flights.
Turner says his auction house has already begun selling the chairs in trios and foursomes live every Thursday at 1801 Guinotte Ave. in Kansas City. The chairs usually sell for between $200 and $600 per lot, but prices vary from day to day.
“They're designed by Eames for Herman Miller, so they're very cool mid-century modern chairs,” he said.
This week, Turner and his crew of movers are taking chairs from Terminal C. Their haul today is 86 chairs.
But there are hundreds of items beyond chairs that need to be cleared out as well. Joe McBride, a spokesperson for the Kansas City Aviation Department, said the airport is working with Purple Wave Auctions to sell things like restaurant equipment, luggage carousels, windows and more.
Auctions for the other items are already ongoing, with many items selling cheap — but bidding closes May 2.
“For some people, these items might remind them of where they fell in love or of family,” McBride said. “While we have the new terminal, we are responsible for taking care of what is left of the old terminal.”
McBride said items that won't sell at auction might still be sold for scrap in an effort to maximize what is left of the old terminals.