Mark Lamster | Essays

The End of the Worldport as We Know It


A couple of weeks ago we learned that I.M. Pei's JFK Terminal 6 was slated for replacement. Today comes news that the Delta (originally Pan Am) Worldport, aka Terminal 3, is to meet the wrecking ball.

Insult to injury: it's not even for a new building, but to make extra room on the tarmac for planes taxiing to and from an expanded neighbor. As an unrepentant nostalgist and bona fide historian of JFK architecture, I'm going to be sorry to see the old concrete frisbee go. I've always enjoyed the circuitous up, down and around path you have to take when you drive up to it — this may not be ideal functionally (or what the original architects had in mind) — but it's a nice metaphor for beginning a journey.

As my lunchmate Alexandra Lange writes over on her own blog, the Port Authority needs to come up with a plan for its iconic buildings, especially TWA. There should be a way to balance the exigencies of contemporary business with some kind of rational preservation.

Posted in: Architecture

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