Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Life for Saarinen's Terminal 5

Eero Saarinen's iconic Terminal 5 at Kennedy Airport moved a step closer to reopening. Closed since October 2001, the main terminal building, which was completed in 1962 for TWA, is being incorporated into jetBlue's new terminal at the airport. From Friday's New York Times story:

The [Port] authority’s board approved a $19 million project to perform the essential repairs needed to allow travelers to pass through the 46-year-old terminal on their way to the enormous new JetBlue Airways terminal that wraps around the T.W.A. building in a crescent shape.

Both buildings are known as Terminal 5. The hope is to open them simultaneously this fall, said William R. DeCota, the aviation director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. If not, he said, the T.W.A. building — an official landmark designed by the architectural giant Eero Saarinen — would reopen soon thereafter. Except for a brief stint as an exhibition gallery in 2004, the Saarinen terminal has been closed since T.W.A. ended operations in October 2001. The main terminal building, called the headhouse, and two tubular departure-arrival corridors have been preserved. Those corridors will connect the Saarinen and JetBlue terminals.

“When Terminal 5 launches in fall,” JetBlue says on its Web site, “customers will have the option of checking in at a JetBlue kiosk in the Saarinen building and taking in this landmarked architectural wonder’s exquisite modernist design on their way to our new terminal.” The airline has already adopted the gull-winged profile of the T.W.A. building into its Terminal 5 logo.

No comments: