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21 CHAPTER SIX JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT--TWA FLIGHT CENTER ADAPTIVE REUSE AIRPORT SPONSOR AND INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS BACKGROUND Airport NameJohn F. Kennedy International Airport Airport (JFK) John F. Kennedy International Airport is the busiest inter- City, State Jamaica, New York national gateway in the United States and the 12th busiest in the world. In 2009, 45,915,069 passengers used the airport. Airport SponsorPort Authority of New York and New More than 90 airlines operate out of JFK. It is JetBlue's base Jersey (PANYNJ) of operations as well as an international hub for Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. JFK was also a hub airport for Person InterviewedDon Rivas, Manager, Lease Opera- the following former airlines: Eastern Air Lines, National tions, Properties & Commercial Airlines, Pan American World Airways, and TWA. Development Terminal Design THE SITUATION The unique architectural design of terminals at JFK dates back to the 1960s and to one of the first larger airports to This case study describes the challenges airports face when accommodate jet airplanes. In 1960, American Airlines buildings, especially iconic architectural structures, become opened its Terminal 8, which became famous for its 317- obsolete. In 1955, PANYNJ adopted a master plan that called 23-ft translucent wall assembled from 30,000 red, sapphire, for multiple airline terminals at the airport, each with its own and white glass tiles. It was (until 1979) the largest stained design. The terminals constructed in the 1960s and 1970s glass installation in the world. That same year, Pan Ameri- had some of the most exciting architectural elements in the can World Airways opened the Worldport (Terminal 3), a world, celebrating both the age of jets and the eloquence of large elliptical roof suspended by 32 sets of radial posts and structural engineering. Most of these terminals remained cables. The roof extended beyond the footprint of the build- buildings of great architectural integrity, but they did not ing to cover the passenger loading area. It was also one of the adequately address the requirements of a rapidly changing first terminals in the world to use jet bridges to board aircraft. industry brought about by-- TWA opened the TWA Flight Center in 1962 (Terminal 5). Designed by Eero Saarinen, the distinctive winged-bird shape Huge increases in the number of passengers flying, created an architectural metaphor for flight and used a shell of Use of larger aircraft to serve the increased demand, reinforced concrete and large panels of glass to allow passen- Airline bankruptcies and mergers that resulted in gers to view aircraft arriving and departing from many places abandoned leases and sometimes less than optimal use within the terminal (Figure 16). In 1970, National Airlines of stand-alone terminals, and opened the Sundrome (now Terminal 6), designed by I.M. Post-9/11 (September 11, 2001) security requirements Pei. It was unique for its use of all-glass mullions. Using glass that constrain access to the airfield and gates. as a primary building material was a first in U.S. airport con- struction. The open architecture of Terminal 6 proved impor- PANYNJ, wrestling with limited land, made difficult tant immediately as the terminal required modifications to decisions about which terminals to keep and which to tear accommodate the newly introduced 747 jumbo jets. down. The Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, originally known as the TWA Flight Center, became a historic land- Of these four terminals, only the TWA Flight Center will mark in 1994 and was kept and refurbished. However, as of remain as part of the JFK airport complex. The glass wall 2010, it remains closed, pending a decision about its reuse. of Terminal 8 was taken down in 2007 and the terminal

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22 demolished. Both the Worldport and the I.M. Pei Terminal 6 arrival concourse and a lounge were added. The interior and are scheduled for demolition. Figure 17 pays tribute to these exteriors of the terminal became an official landmark in three structures. 1994, voted on by the city of New York Landmarks Preserva- tion Commission. In 2005, the National Park Service listed the TWA Flight Center on the National Register of Historic Places. These designations solidified the legacy of the build- ing as a permanent structure at JFK. Despite designation from the Landmark Preservation Commission, the flight center suffered as TWA's fortunes dwindled. TWA declared bankruptcy three times, first in 1992, then 1995, and fatally in 2001. American Airlines acquired the assets of TWA and took over the Saarinen building in 2001. However, American Airlines closed the operation in early 2002 because of 9/11. In the years leading up to 2001, the building was poorly maintained. No other airlines stepped forward to occupy the building. In October 2003, JetBlue entered into an agreement with FIGURE 16 TWA Flight Center, JFK International Airport. PANYNJ to expand at JFK. Initially, JetBlue considered the full integration of the TWA Flight Center into its terminal TWA Flight Center design; however, the cost to retrofit the building exceeded the cost of a new building. JetBlue commissioned Gensler to The TWA Flight Center was designed by Eero Saarinen and design a building adjacent to the flight center that connected completed in 1962. Seven years later, a new departure and the two structures and left open the possibility of its integra- FIGURE 17 Pan American Worldport (lower left), American Airlines Terminal (center), and I.M. Pei Terminal 6 (right).