Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Comments (3) Posted 02.07.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Mark Lamster

"I'm Staying at the Eero"




News today: Eero Saarinen's decommissioned TWA Terminal has been slated for conversion into a boutique hotel. Actually, from what I gather, the Port Authority's plan is to use the landmark terminal as the gateway to a separate hotel building that will be squeezed into the crescent of space between Saarinen's building and JetBlue's Terminal 5. It's a shame the Authority didn't do a better job incorporating the landmark building into Terminal 5 in the first place, but that ship has sailed plane has long since departed.

The lobby to a "boutique" hotel would seem to be an appropriate use for the old terminal, with its super-mod interior spaces. It's got ready-made check-in counters and great spaces for lounges, bars, and restaurants with food by April Bloomfield. Think the Ace with a jet-age aesthetic. But whomever is chosen as architect to remake the space and build the adjacent new building will have some serious challenges, and those of us who are fans of the terminal, and believe in preservation, are going to need to be on our guard, lest this classic work of midcentury modernism finds the same fate as Gordon Bunshaft's erstwhile Mani-Hani bank in midtown. A few immediate questions: how will one access the new hotel building from the old terminal? Will there be some alteration to the tubes that once led to the satelite gates and now attach (uselessly) to Terminal 5? And what becomes of the enormous window onto the tarmac that was once the focus of the entire building? That window now looks onto JFK's access road, and would presumably, in the future, look out onto the basement of the new hotel building. Not the romantic prospect Saarinen had in mind, you can be sure. 



Here's the space where the hotel will be sited in a classic photo of the Terminal by Ezra Stoller (a book of these photos, edited by yours truly, is here.) A show of Stoller's work, including some of his TWA shots, is currently on at the Yossi Milo gallery.
Share This Story

RELATED POSTS


Joichi Ito Named Director of the MIT Media Lab


Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg


Accidental Mysteries, 05.29.11


Accidental Mysteries, 11.27.11


Accidental Mysteries, 11.27.11



RSS Subscribe to Comment Feed

Comments (3)   |   JUMP TO MOST RECENT >>

If this Terminal is indeed a National Historic Landmark and its use be changed, would the status not be terminated by the Dept. of Interior?
Mary Bode
02.07.11 at 10:04

I believe it is a NYC designated landmark, not a national historic landmark. I don't believe the interior is designated, just the structure, including the two elevated walkways, so any alteration to them will require approval of the LPC, as would, I believe, any other major alteration to the building. But I'm not an expert in preservation codes.
mark lamster
02.07.11 at 10:30

Incorporating it into terminal 5? Easier said than done. The building is such a functional dinosaur. Totally unable to function in the 21st century and handle current traffic volume. It's the equivalent of having a land line and using a modem in the age of broadband for pete's sake. IMHO there's really no good solution for this. The only program that will ever make sense there is an ironic one (unfortunately).
BrooklynR
02.21.11 at 08:50



LOG IN TO POST A COMMENT
Don't have an account? Create an account. Forgot your password? Click here.

Email


Password




|
Share This Story



Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review, he is currently at work on his third book, a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson. Follow: @marklamster.
More >>

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS