Historical Vignette 083 - The Saudi Government Honored a Corps Project on Currency and Postage Stamps

The Dhahran Civil Air Terminal was one of the earliest Corps of Engineers’ projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Mediterranean Division’s Saudi Arabia District constructed the project with U.S. Agency for International Development funding in 1959-1961.

The Corps’ engineering and construction expertise so impressed the Saudi government that the Saudis included an image of the terminal on their one riyal paper currency. In 1963 they issued a set of stamps to commemorate the terminal and the inauguration of international jet air service. The project’s success also was instrumental in the Saudi’s decision to engage the Corps for a major reimbursable program that grew during the 1970s and ’80s to become one of the largest in Corps history.

Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986) designed the terminal building. In 1963 the American Institute of Architects awarded him its First Honors Design Award for the project. Yamasaki’s other projects included the St. Louis Airport, the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and the World Trade Center in New York City.


The terminal at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

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March 2004