Trans World Airlines (TWA) terminal has been known as the airport frozen in time, and when photographer Max Touhey was granted access to the restricted landmarked building, he brought us a glimpse to the golden age of travel.
The John F. Kennedy’s TWA Flight Center will soon be renovated into a 500-room boutique hotel, while retaining its bold architecture that must have seemed futuristic in 1962.
The terminal was the last project of the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, who was known for his love of curves in his unique designs.
Construction of the airport hub began in 1956 and was completed posthumously in 1962. Upon its opening, the terminal was celebrated as one of the architectural masterpieces in the field of air travel.
“We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully designed environment in which each part arises from another, and everything belongs to the same formal world,” Mr. Saarinen had stated about his philosophy behind its design.
TWA continued in operation until the airline suffered a great financial depression, which resulted to its shutdown in October of 2001.
After its bankruptcy, American Airlines bought the terminal in 2001.
The architecture of the building reflected the TWA company’s directive, which was ‘capture the spirit of flight,’ with its design patterned after a bird’s expanded wings during its flight.
Currently, plans for the transformation are well underway, with a team preparing to conduct an extensive measurements for printing of a digital 3-D model of the terminal.
In the past few years, the flight center underwent a major renovation with a $20 million budget to open its doors back in 2012 for public viewing of the once architectural jewel.
After the renovation project, the building has maintained its 60s ambiance including this retro bar.
Other architectural gems of Saarinen include the main terminal of Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the CBS headquarters in New York, on 52nd Street at Sixth Avenue, and the The Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York.
Watch the exclusive video featuring the interior of the TWA Flight Center below.
The airline had its share in the important undertakings in the government, such as this caesium beam timepiece, which is accurate to one-millionth of a second. This US space program clock was traveling back in America from its journey in South Africa, and it must continue to run for the entire duration of the flight to keep its accuracy. To do this, they had to connect the clock into a power source in the craft.