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TWA TERMINAL, JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK, 1964

JFK Airport, 1964

A pilot stands waiting for a ride. Five station wagons including a black ’63 Ford Falcon Squire and white ’64 Dodge crowd the loading and unloading zone. Suitcases sit on the curb. Yes, a typical airport scene with one exception – the terminal is straight out of a sci-fi fantasy.

Unique in every way, shape and form, the one-of-a-kind swooping-sweeping cement sculpture was the final creation of master modernist, Eero Saarinen. The Finnish designer never saw it finished. He died in 1961, a year before it was dedicated. Inside, the ticket counters, furnishings, signage, telephone booths and bright orange carpet were all custom-made to complement the organic shape and form

Last year while waiting on the tarmac at JFK in the wee hours of the morning, sitting there in my seat half asleep, all buckled up ready for the thrill of takeoff, I looked out of the window and much to my delight and surprise there it was – the TWA Terminal. I thought I was seeing things. More than forty years later it still looks like it belongs in the future. That makes it a perfect and rare example of timeless architecture and a miracle of mid-century modern design. Only one slight problem – it’s no longer in use. TWA is a thing of the past and its former terminal is empty. The future of this futuristic fantasy is unknown. For now it is dead – waiting to be reincarnated.

Oh, how I hope they don’t tear it down! Just think. Someday it will be the perfect terminal when the general public gets to fly to the moon. It could happen

Here’s to you and the TWA Terminal