If you’re in NYC this weekend and an architecture buff, participating in one of the many Open House New York tours taking place around town is the ticket. Many require reservations but in my book, THE tour of the weekend just requires you to show up Sunday October 7, between 10 – 4 at the TWA Flight Center, JFK airport.
Recently renovated, this iconic winged building by Eero Saarinen — a temple to the golden age of of air travel — will be open to the public ever so briefly. On hand to answer questions, lead renovation architect Charles Kramer (Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners) and Jim Stevens of New York’s Port Authority responsible for bringing this masterpiece back to its glory after a $20 million spend.
The terminal, originally opened in 1962, operated until 2001 although with radical changes necessary to accommodate the rapidly shifting air travel industry and security needs of the day. In fact, the building was practically obsolete the minute it opened unable to accommodate the newly introduced 747 aircraft’s scale. But that didn’t make the terminal’s swooping forms, stylish lounges and iconic flight tubes any less magnificent and today it’s been deemed a national landmark. Soon it will be turned into a boutique hotel and house a permanent exhibition on the history of TWA, the JFK airport and the building itself — another chance to see the building up close and personal, although transformed in ways yet to be understood.
photos courtesy Maggie Morris/Fathom and Renee Schacht