Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center Open House - 10/16/2011

I've previously written about my fear of flying, but I love airports as long as I'm not going anywhere. I'll go to an airport just to hang out. One of the best buildings ever constructed at an airport is Eero Saarinen's iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport in New York, built in 1962 and closed in 2001. The jet age equivalent to Grand Central Terminal, the TWA Flight Center is a modern, ethereal and delicate structure the likes of which we will never see built again. The interior looks like something from 1960's sci-fi.

The Flight Center was opened to the public for one day last weekend as part of Open House New York, and my wife and I went.  Here are my photos:

As a historic landmark, the TWA Flight Center still sits on the same spot it always did, only now the view of the tarmac and runways that you used to have out the back is instead a view of jetBlue's new Terminal 5. JetBlue had originally planned to use the TWA Flight Center as a gateway to the new T5 and maybe they still do - there is definite restoration work still going on.

I flew out of there once in 2000, and even at the time - as a terminal still in regular use, though by then known as (the original) Terminal 5 - I knew how special it was. It's kind of an odd feeling revisiting a building that you've used in a functional capacity that's now serving as what amounts to a museum to itself. Talk about feeling old!

But it was great to be able to visit such an amazing building, something not many have had the chance to do in the last decade. Hopefully that will change soon.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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