Without a doubt, the most outstanding and iconic airport passenger terminal of the Jet Age is the TWA Flight Center at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. Designed by Eero Saarinen–who also designed the terminal for Washington’s Dulles Airport–the building has an unmistakable design with a soaring central structure resembling a giant bird in flight. During the design phase one of the boarding concourses called “Flight Wings” was scrapped, leaving a single concourse with seven gates equipped with boarding bridges and a temporary concourse, where people boarded the aircraft by means of stairs.
The Flight Center was officially dedicated on May 28th, 1962. In February 1970, the second boarding concourse called “Flight Wing One” was inaugurated. It was especially designed for TWA’s wide body fleet and could accommodate five Boeing 747s plus two Boeing 707s, or ten Boeing 707s. Originally, a rooftop heliport was planned as well but was later cancelled.
The Flight Center was in continuous use as a terminal from 1962 until 2001, after which it stood abandoned for years. In 2005, the terminal was acquired by JetBlue Airways, and in the same year, the terminal was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This image has been colorized by artist Benoit Vienne. Copyright: www.Airporthistory.org
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