TWA Flight Center by Eero Saarinen, 1963

New York International Airport is packed as the Beatles finally arrive and — wait a minute, that isn't for a couple of months. The date on these slides is Nov 63, the month JFK was assassinated in Dallas. It is still New York International or Idlewild Airport (as it was commonly known after the golf course it displaced).
(The slides in this set were slightly damaged as found)
Of course, in 1963, the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center would have been the main attraction. Open for under a year when these photos were taken, it was designed to impart a sense of flight and movement. This futuristic work is now a National Historic Landmark.
(Composite image made from two slides)
The jetsons-like interior is full of movement, and in spite of being made of concrete, the construction gives a sense of lightness and airiness. The building and all its spaces and elements, make up a total environment where every detail belongs to the same family of forms, consistently repeated in passenger counters, information boards, railings etc.
Note the Alexander Calder sculpture hanging in Terminal 5.
Jet Blue and the Port Authority has put $19 million into the renovation of Terminal 5 and it opened last October. It is still modern, but seems to have lost some of its mid-century identity. Jet blue's site is here. May I check your baggage?

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1 comment:

  1. The second to last picture is the inside of SOM's International Arrivals Building, completed 1957.


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