George Washington and Franco Harris statues return to Pittsburgh International Airport


Franco Harris and George Washington statues return to Pittsburgh International Airport. Photo Credit: (Pittsburgh International Airport)

John Blinn, News Editor

PITTSBURGH – After a six-month absence, President George Washington and former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris have returned home to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The iconic statues of the two idols were removed in March to be refurbished at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Conservational and curatorial staff at the Heinz Center updated and restored the fiberglass material used in both statues and used special ultraviolet protectant in order to prevent fading.

Other additions included an update to President Washington’s wardrobe, gifting him with a new jacket.

“History Center curators worked hard to ensure the new-and-improved George Washington and Franco Harris figures will be as bold and resilient as the real-life American icons they depict,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Sen. John Heinz History Center.

The duo have greeted travelers for 13 years and are meant to represent and encompass a “Pittsburgh” culture.

“For a long time, the statues of George Washington and Franco Harris have helped make this airport Pittsburgh’s airport,” said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Franco Harris himself visited the airport to welcome his statue and George Washington back to their proper places.


The statues are not the only updates being made to the Pittsburgh International Airport.

RELATED STORY: Pittsburgh International Airport to receive updates and modernization

In an attempt to modernize, the airport has been undergoing updates since Feb. 20. This project is expected to be completed in 2023.

“The airport has had a lot of success over the past few years – passengers are the highest they’ve been in a decade, nonstop destinations have nearly doubled and we rolled out the ambitious Terminal Modernization Plan,” said Allegheny County Executive Rick Fitzgerald. “But even with all of that, none of it matches the popularity of the George Washington and Franco Harris statues at the airport.”