Return Weir Cook to airport title?

June 3, 2008
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Weir Cook has been dead a long time, since 1943, but a military veterans group wants to bring his name back to what is now Indianapolis International Airport.

The war heroâ??s name was on the airport from 1944, a year after he died in a plane crash, until the airport was given its current name in 1976.

Yesterday, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to recommend that the airport board add â??Col. Harvey Weir Cookâ?? to the official name.

What do you think?
  • They never should have taken the Weir Cook name away from the airport back in 1976. At the time they thought that Indianapolis International would make Indy seem more big-time when actually it works just the opposite in peoples' psyche. Any little city can add International to their name to sound big , but it's usually the big, old-time, cities that have a name associated with their airports. Chicago O'Hare, New York Laguardia and Kennedy, Boston Logan, etc... The name gives it that certain panache and cool style. I hope we get it named Indianapolis Weir Cook International Airport so we can have that historically named cosmopolitan flair and the international part will still be there so people know that we have a customs office.
  • Weir Cook in the title is just plain weir-d. No one knows who he was, only the older military folks care (and in another 20 years, they will not be around to care), and the addition makes the airport name unwei(r)ldy. A shorter name, Indpls International Airport, tells exactly where and what the airport is.
  • It's about time!!...The name should never have been changed...Weir Cook should be recognized for his contributions to the city...with his name back on the airport it will be respectful of his contributions and the history of the airport what will be done for Roscoe Turner's legacy?
  • This is silly. Don't we want people to know what our airport is called? What's wrong with Indianapolis International Airport?
  • I must admit to being somewhat cool to the idea. If there exists some burning need to name the airport after a dead aviator, Eddie Rickenbacker (a WWI ace, Speedway race car driver and Former owner of the Speedway) or Roscoe Turner would be more appropriate.

    However, hopping on the current landmark for sale bandwagon might make sense. We might be able to re coup some of the cost over runs at the airport by selling the naming rights (e.g Indianpolis Pepsi Airport)
    Just kidding-----sort of
  • Great idea. Our schools rarely have distinctive names now - only geographical names. Colleges name their buildings for donors, not people who made the school what it is. Athletic facilities are renamed for corporate entities that see their value in their marketing and advertising schemes. It's local names that give a place character.

    When I was growing up, we only spoke of going out to Weir Cook. (Rarely even said that was the airport.) And we'd fly from there to LaGuardia. And we always knew where we were going.
  • Let's strike a fair balance and rename the functional Mid-field terminal to honor Mr. Cook and keep theIndianapolis International name. Ind. Int. was originally created to reflect Indianapolis' growing (at that time and even more so now) international presence. Let's not lose that brand equity.
  • Out of respect for the veterans groups seeking recognition, the new airport should include a display to recognize Weir Cook and his accomplishments. However, the name should not change. I remember when Weir Cook was the airport name - very few people outside Indianapolis knew where Weir Cook Airport was located and even fewer could pronounce it. The name was not changed to make the airport sound big time, but so that people knew the location. Please don't change the name.
  • Keep the name Indpls. International Airport, veterans have already received a huge amount of recognition in this city. I think the city of Indianapolis needs to promote Indianapolis, not aanother war veteran.
  • Name the new terminal after him - Weir Cook Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport. If Cook were a nationally known aviator maybe that would be different, but now, who knows him? I grew up in Indy and the only thing I ever knew about Weir Cook was that was the name of the airport. Keep Indianapolis International - it just makes more sense.
  • I never understood why it was changed, either - no-one asked me...
    I'd have told 'em to leave it alone, just add International...
    Indianapolis Weir Cook International Airport sounds FINE -
    Or Weir Cook International Airport at Indianapolis...
    Washington Reagan National Airport, check.
    Chicago O'Hare International Airport, check.
    Eagle Creek Regional Airpark? Hmm.
    In common usage, it's gonna get shortened - but no way TO shorten Indianapolis International - Putting Col. Cook in there, and Voila!
    Weircook International... Weir Cook all by itself ( Mostly, I hear
    Reagan, not Reagan National...
  • hmmm, let's try someone more about
    John Dillinger International
    Motto: open up your suitcase or we'll shoot you
    Jared Subway Fogle International
    Motto: open up your suitcase or I'll eat you
    Jeff George International
    Motto: open up your suitcase or I'll cry
    David Letterman International
    Motto: Top 10 reasons to open up your suitcase
    Dick the Bruiser International
    Motto: open up your suitcase or I'll pile drive ya
    Joyce DeWitt International (actress in the T.V. show Threes Company)
    Motto: open up your suitcase or I'll make you watch hours of bad sitcom
    Albert Von Tilzer (composer of Take Me Out To The Ball Game)
    Motto: open up your suitcase or we'll make you go to a Reds game
  • how about JD International.
    motto: too much time to think of that garbage.
    try crackers comedy club.
  • Let's make this simple.... just name the terminal itself after Weir Cook just like 31 other cities have done i.e. Barbra Jordon Terminal which is used here in Austin, TX. Denver, Detroit, Birmingham, have real good examples and many others have done it as well. Next subject........
  • I think changing the name is dumb. This city has moved on. Let's not go backward. I agree with Sally. Most people won't have any idea who this person was.
  • The human race is amazing. Here we have a chance to correct a wrong made 32 years ago and there are people vehemently opposing it. Since there is no real difference between Indianapolis International Airport and Indianapolis Weir Cook International Airport and it won't hurt anyone either way, then why not do the right thing? I don't even understand how there can possibly be some inane debate about something so innocuous. Airport Board : Do the right thing. The airport was named for Weir Cook and when you name something in honor of someone then you don't just willy-nilly go changing the name on a whim.
  • I'm all for renaming it.
    Names of locals gives it a distinct identity.
    Any airport can be the international airport. The desperation to be hip and cutting edge in the 1970's lead to the removal of the name.
    Any airport can be the 'international (insert city's name here.) airport but only one can be Weir Cook.
    Even if no one knows who he was the name is far more elegant and timeless than Indianapolis International airport.
    Indianapolis Weir Cook Airport sounds a lot better.
  • The Indianapolis International Airport has not been called Weir Cook in over 33 years. I think the current name is simple, descriptive, and more representative of our city and state than giving it a persons name.

    We currently care for our military personnel very well and generously honor there service. Please add this request to the recently passed legislation giving Indiana military veterans free tuition to state colleges, extra property tax relief, gambling licenses for all VFW (Veteran Foreign Wars) lodges in the state, expanded state health benefits, free Veteran licence plates among many other state perks. This does not include the increase in Federal benefits recently passed the GI bill over President Bush's objections that significantly increased retirement, health benefits, salaries, signing bonuses of $100,000+, and lifetime PX discounts.

    At what point do we go beyond honoring our military for their service and start looking like a third world military dictatorship?
  • I don't support naming our airport after a person, but the selection of deserving people is much larger than a military person from World War I.

    How about US President Benjamin Harrison, Richard Lugar, Eddie Rickenbacker, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernie Pyle, John Mellencamp, Eli Lilly, David Letterman, James Dean, John Dillinger, Jane Pauley, Red Skelton, Dan Quayle, Reggie Miller, Bird (big breath), Wilcom Riley, Gus Grissom, Tony Stewart, Jimmy Hoffa, Michael Jackson, Johnney Appleseed ...............

    You get the point.

    Indiana currently has more war memorials than Washington DC. Add this request to the Military groups requests to locate a new submarine memorial on the canal in landlocked Indianapolis and plans to eliminate the green space surrounding the Indianapolis War Memorial with a gaudy expansion.

    Thanks, but someone needs to have the guts to say enough is enough.
  • Here is an idea.

    Choosing a name could be bid out to competing non-profits that could raise at least $250 million (Lucas Oil Stadiums standard) through a fundraising drive targeted to benefit the city and taxpayers.

    Largest fundraiser gets the naming rights to there favorite Hoosier Hero. Potential uses could include improved infrastructure, economic development, or tourism.
  • The city fathers before me saw a need to change the name to Indianapolis International, said Lacy Johnson, the Airport Authority president. There were legitimate reasons, which had to do with marketing. The name is Indianapolis International, and I think it's a fantastic name.

    The governor said the airport was named for (Cook) for a long time, which was appropriate, and that now we should honor Cook and his memory in other ways, such as hanging his portrait in the new airport terminal, said Daniels' press secretary, Jane Jankowski.

    It's the way of the world, dust to dust, said Burt SerVaas, who is 87, retired from politics and philosophical. To take Indianapolis International back to Weir Cook would be a step backward, he said.

    Several years ago, the large room where Indianapolis' City-County Council holds its meetings was named for SerVaas. He has no illusions it's for keeps.

    And so what, he said. They'll change it, and I won't be alive to care.
  • I agree with Scott, post #1. Any City International Airport is just plain boring.
    Weir Cook International Airport has a great ring to it. (No apologies to those
    who can't see past the end of their own nose or who have no respect for
    those older military folks. I have had a rude awakening today to the IBJ reader
    demographics. WOW.)
  • When I was a kid it was called Weir Cook Airport. Weir Cook International sound fine to me. I 'm sure a corporation will buy the naming rights. Lets see how about Eli Lilly International Airport or Lucas Oil Stadium International Airport. Finish Line International Airport.
    Indianapolis Colts International Airport, Simon Malls International Airport,
    I have a few other names. Naptown International Airport. Circle City International AIrport. I like Circle City!!!!!!
  • It seems like a waste of money to suddenly change the name shortly before the new airport opens. I'm sure that many items such as signs and stationery have already been ordered, and those would have to be changed.

    Folks were upset about the proposal to rename Michigan Road after MLK for these reasons, but that same ire seems to have disappeared when it comes to renaming the airport.
  • I agree with many of the posts that the new terminal should be named for Weir Cook, but the airport name shoud NOT change. Who knows or cares what JFK was called before they changed the name? Same here...leave it alone.
  • There just seems to be a huge lack of respect for this man and his accomplishments. The point is NOT to choose a new name or who some of you people seem to think are more deserving, but to re-instate the name honoring Weir-Cook. Just because you don't know who he is, doesn't mean he should'nt be honored. I think part of the reason places and things are named after people is to keep their memory and accomplishments alive long after they're gone.

    I say re-instate it. As an earlier post stated, it's hurts no one and gives the airport a unique name.
  • The perfect name? Indianapolis International Airport.

    It's simple, descriptive, forward looking, and represents all of our community, not just old military people, political leaders, successful business founders, education notables, artists, musicians, authors, etc....

    Give Weir Cook a portrait and plaque at the new airport that explains his contributions and history behind our city airport and end this.

    Now lets talk about the future, lets get light rail from the new airport to our new downtown stadium, fieldhouse, museums, theatres, hotels, restaurants, business district, and shopping area. This will positively change Indianapolis and give a boost to tourism and economic development.
  • From the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis:

    Weir Cook served in Eddie Rickenbacker's Hat in the Ring squadron in WWI distinguishing himself by downing seven enemy aircraft becoming one of eight aces in the squadron, while also receiving the Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster for bravery under fire.

    In the years following the war, Cook continued his avid interest in aviation by becoming a pioneer in air mail delivery. He was primarily responsible for the selection of Indianapolis as a stop on the New York-St. Louis air mail route. He was actively involved in civic affairs, serving as a prominent member of the Chamber of Commerce aviation committee. In this capacity he helped to select the location of the new Indianapolis airport.
  • Hulman-Cook Intercontinental Airfield.

    I'm sick of Int'l. Back to back w/Indp'ls is too long and sounds phony.
    O'Hare, Logan, JFK, Reagan: You do not need to put the d--- city's name in the title.
  • Considering many people from the east or west coast don't know where or anything about Indianapolis or Indiana, it would be a poor idea to confuse them even more with a obscure name beyond Indianapolis International Airport.

    This idea ranks up with the idea to change the name of North Dakota to Dakota in an effort to make the state's winters more appealing and distinguish itself from constantly being confused with South Dakota.

    Changing the name is a poor idea.

    Giving recognition to Weir Cook and the airports past in the form of a portrait and plaque in the new $1 billion midfield terminal is a good idea.
  • Adam,

    Do you know of Oklahoma City? Have you ever heard of St.Louis? Does Austin, Texas ring a bell? Could you name a thing or two about Cleveland? Has Milwaukee dropped off the face of the earth? The Will Rogers, Lambert, Bergstrom, Hopkins, and Mitchell in their names doesn't seem to cause confusion nor deteriorate their staus in the world, so I don't think the name Weir Cook is going cause Indianapolis to vanish.

    If anything it will give Indy a touch of color, and distance us from the plain brown wrapping that comes with the generic City Name International Airport syndrome.
  • Quite honestly I don't know which airport or city is associated with Will Rogers, Lambert, Bergstrom, Hopkins, and Mitchell. I can only provide guesses like in a silly game of trivial pursuit.

    Cleveland, Oklahoma City, St.Louis, Austin, Texas, and Milwaukee give me a much better sense of where the airport is located and an impression of the community from my visits.
  • Exactly.

    So since the entire name of an airport after the city name is completely irrelevent, thereby making Indianapolis International Airport and Indianapolis Weir Cook International Airport identical in all eyes, why not do the right thing and restore the proper name to the airport title?
  • You know the thing that bothers me the most is the comments from people saying - they don't know who Weir Cook was - - as if this justifies not giving the airport back its rightful name.

    You know when an honor is given - - it shouldn't be taken away. PERIOD.

    We honored Weir Cook for a reason. Maybe some of you who don't know who he was and the type of person that he was-- should read some history. He had a very colorful life. Did some very daring feats (ever see the movie Flyboys? - this is the type of plane Cook started out flying), was a good father and family man, wanted safety for pilots, was forward thinking in business (establishing airmail), and just an all around good guy.

    I think we could do a LOT worse - lets give the name back before it goes to some politician who has a more dubious record, or gets named for some corporation.

    Cook - was even a Hoosier to boot! Born in Wilkinson, Indiana (Hancock County).
  • Shame on botan for thinking we've done enough for our war veterans. As the daughter,sister,wife and in the future,mother of war (our son is currently in Iraq) verterans I say we can never do enough to thank them and honor them for what they have done to keep this country safe and help other countries to help themselves. I agree with Tom S and Jim Bonke. It seems a perfect solution to me. Keep the Indianapolis but fit Weir Cook in there to honor him as well.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.