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1, 2, 3…5? The reason there’s no Terminal 4 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

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CHICAGO -- Have you ever noticed that there's no Terminal 4 at O'Hare International Airport?

Sarah Jindra with our sister station WGN met up with David Woodcock, the airport's international terminal airline representative, to find out why.

He says the airport's old Terminal 4 is now the bus shuttle center across from the Hilton Hotel, attached to the short-term parking garage.

But from 1985 to 1993, it operated as the temporary international terminal, or Terminal 4, as the city put plans in motion for the new international terminal.

As the temporary terminal got busier and demand for international  grew, Woodcock says the pressure was on to get the new international terminal open. So they decided to finish the arrival side of the new terminal first, and operate arrivals from the new terminal and departures from the old temporary terminal for the summer of 1993.

"But then the dilemma came that there would be two Terminal 4s," Woodcock said. "That would be very confusing to everybody. So we talked to the city and negotiated it, we discussed it, and we agreed Terminal 5 should be the name of the new terminal."

The new Terminal 5 opened to fanfare in 1993, and the No. 5 stuck, even when construction was complete.

Terminal 4 is long gone, but if you look closely around the airport, you may be able to spot old relics of the temporary terminal that once was.

"Many times people ask me that question: 'What happened to Terminal 4?'" Woodcock said. "My answer to that is, 'Does it really matter? As long as you know what terminal you're going to, it doesn't make much difference.'"

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