PDX airport carpetPORTLAND, Ore.–

Goodbyes are never easy. Especially, it would seem, when an entire city mourns the upcoming loss of its airport carpet.

Installed in 1987, more than 13 acres of Portland International Airport’s carpet will be replaced. Removal of the funky turquoise pattern will begin mid January.

“Much of the carpet is showing its age through significant wear and tear, stains and spooling, and piecemeal repairs throughout,” Port of Portland spokeswoman Annie Linstrom said.

Local firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects created the new carpet design. The new pattern retains the basic colors of the old design. As the airport’s intersecting North-South runways inspired the first carpet, the new design includes airport features like plane wings and runways.

And in true Oregonian fashion, the new carpet’s durable broadloom will be made from recycled carpet, soda bottles and plastic jars.

“The Port hopes that travelers will grow to appreciate elements of the new carpet design over time, just as much as the old,” Linstrom said.

Outrage continues to crowd the Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to the beloved carpet. A plethora of the classic shoes-and-carpet pics exploded coupled to the #pdxcarpet Instagram hashtag.

At the PDX Carpet store, fans can purchase patterned paraphernalia from t-shirts and bags to posters and pillows. Portlander Jeremy Dunn designed a pair of socks bearing the proud turquoise pattern.

Like many Portlanders, Dunn associated the carpet with a sense of homecoming. Nothing says ‘welcome home’ quite like snapping a shoes-and-carpet pic.

“It’s less about the design itself, even though the design is kind of quirky and funny, than it is about the place as a whole,” Dunn told The New York Times. “People take that picture . . . then come back and feel like it’s so great to be home.”

The airport commissioned local artist Nancy Wilkins to create an 11-foot by 16-foot collage honoring the carpet.

The collage’s name? “Carpet Diem!”

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.