After spending four years in a Millersville (MD) warehouse, the 400-pound, stained-glass blue crab sculpture returned to its rightful habitat at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. "The crab is a symbol here," proclaimed Copunty Executive Janet Owens "This is number one of many number ones on my list of priorities--it's right up there with education and [historic] preservation," she said. The crustacean's new protective glass shield cost $17,500 and the airport is pretty serious about the display case. They would not allow the crab to return without one, fearing that children would climb on it and get hurt.
The sculpture first appeared at BWI in 1985, and to many tourists and Marylanders it has served as a symbol signifying the Maryland waterman and culinary way of life. Visitors are immediately taken by the sculpture's iridescent reflections of violets, blues and greens. The handcrafted crustacean created with 5,000 pieces of stained glass was removed in 1989 during the airport's expansion but was brought back in 1994 and stayed for two more years. The sculpture developed 32 stress fractures when construction crews were moving it around. The sculpture was then stored away in the Millersville warehouse, and this year the county spent $4,000 on repairs.
The sculpture was orignially in the main concourse of the airport, but with airport expansion, the sculpture cannot reutrn to its old home. Construction crews will transform the parking garage walkways into bridges that lead passengers directly into the terminals, so travelers don't delay traffic by crossing the street separating the garage and the check-in gates.