GSP’s popular airside garden recognized

GREER, S.C.—Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) recently received a Southeast Region Recognition Award during the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Southeast Regional Conference for its airside garden.   

The garden, which is an original feature at the airport from its opening in 1962, received its second update in 2016 during the GSP terminal renovation.

“GSP’s airside garden gives passengers a unique opportunity to spend time outside post security and it’s a source of pride for the airport,” said Kevin Howell, GSP senior vice president and chief operations officer. “The garden’s most recent update celebrates its history while providing a welcoming space to relax and enjoy the beauty that can be observed from the airfield.”

Seamon Whiteside & Associates served as the landscape architects for GSP’s 2016 garden renovation. Design elements used in the garden include seating terraces, a large central lawn and the use of plantings to frame views of the tarmac and the Blue Ridge Mountains. WK Dickson served as the lead engineer for the update and Mavin Construction was the project’s contractor.

“The airside garden is still a meaningful and engaging landscape after 57 years,” said Clint Rigsby, a senior landscape architect with Seamon Whiteside’s Greenville office. “It stands as a living testament to the power of the garden and the importance of the landscape architect. We were able to use both hardscape and plant materials to create a formal, yet contemporary landscape, to complement the significant terminal expansion project and celebrate the garden’s unique sense of place in the heart of the airport terminal.”

GSP’s airside garden is one of the few outdoor areas accessible to airport passengers past a security checkpoint in the United States. The garden has layers of planting, which provides texture and color. It has two fountains and ornate benches recovered from the original garden. Sculptures of children at play were commissioned for the garden’s 1989 update by longtime GSP Commissioner Roger Milliken, who passed away in 2010. Milliken suggested having a garden built during the early planning for GSP. The garden was dedicated to him in 2016.

In 2018, the garden received a Merit Award from the S.C. American Society of Landscape Architects chapter.

About Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) is conveniently located between Greenville and Spartanburg, along I-85. More than 2.3 million passengers per year are served by six major airlines offering over 100 total daily flights to 19 destinations and one-stop connections to hundreds of cities across the globe. The airport is also a hub for air cargo, including automotive parts and other goods regularly flown to and from Europe and Mexico as well as throughout the United States. Learn more at

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