Planes Trains & Automobiles
Terminal 3 at JFK International Airport is incontinent. At 52, such problems are understandable. Still, they are nonetheless embarrassing, especially for one of the main international entry points for still (arguably, hopefully) the capital of the world.
Hanging from Terminal 3’s massive flying saucer roof are two dozen diapers, the actual technical term for the no-longer white tarps, 10-by-10 or larger, affixed to the concrete ceiling by steel cables. Running out the middle of each is a clear garden hose. Why not something opaque is a mystery as baffling as the fact that this terminal, with its crumbling roof, still stands. At least a dark hose would hide the effluent passing through the cracks of time, the drippings of decades of decay and neglect, where none of it would be exposed for all the world to see.
Hello Istanbul, greetings Sao Paolo, cheerio London. Welcome to New York. Hope your 12-hour flight was O.K. Please ignore the colostomy bags hanging overhead.
A great deal of attention has been paid lately to vintage JFK. Thanks to that lovely show Pan Am, we got a glimpse of what Terminal 3 looked like in its glory days, rather than the leaking mess it had become in recent years. It was recently torn down so Delta, which is expanding Terminal 4, could have more space to park planes—no, not a new terminal, just a bare strip of tarmac, a glorified plane parking lot. (Maybe with the airport so congested, that’s for the best. Another terminal would mean more planes everyday, wouldn’t it?)
Then there is the still stately Terminal 6, JetBlue’s home before it took over the new Terminal 5 encircling Eero Saarinen’s revered TWA Terminal. Terminal 6 is also coming down, a soaring glass pane and concrete strut at a time. There has been much handwringing over this of late, thanks in no small part to the appearance of Christina Ricci in a blue stewardess’ garb, but as is often the case with old buildings, it is too little, too late. And we don’t even yet know what is replacing the thing.
That leaves us with the TWA Terminal and the TWA Terminal alone.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission just approved the controversial preservation of 20 buildings in Downtown Brooklyn. Known as the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, it had been opposed by local landlords and a co-op board who feared it would make renovations and new storefronts expensive to construct and maintain.
Sometimes landmark battles have happy endings.
Twelve percent of the Earth’s landmass is untouchable by Rem Koolhaas’ count. Whether a U.N. World Heritage site, plush nature preserve or lowly landmarked brownstone, architects are running out of room, with only 44,700,815 square-miles left to build. It is for this reason that the severe Dutch architect–The New Yorker once accused him Read More
Missing the Landmark
What is a landmark?
Determining that is the job of the city commission bearing that name, and yesterday it decreed that 510 Fifth Avenue, built in 1954 as a five-story marquee bank branch for Manufacturers Trust (later Manufacturers of Hanover, later Chase Manhattan), was so worthy of preservation that not only should its exterior be Read More
The news keeps trickling out about the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, now that the Howard Hughes Corp. has spun off from the no-longer-bankrupt General Growth Properties. The new company, led by wily Bill Ackman, was created pretty much for the explicit purpose of redeveloping a number of nascent mixed-use projects General Growth Read More
on the waterfront
It took a half-dozen years to come to an agreement on Admiral’s Row, the stretch of Federal Style 19th Century buildings bordering the Brooklyn Navy Yards. There was constant fighting over how many of the historic buildings to save when transforming the site for a new grocery store.
Earlier this year, An Admiral’s Row Read More
on the waterfront
Five long years ago, in a somewhat vastly different Brooklyn, the Navy Yards Development Corporation pushed through a plan to demolish a stand of Civil War-era homes that have been hidden for decades behind a brightly painted red wall a cannonball’s throw from the BQE. This is, or was, Admiral’s Row, where naval Read More
Given that an outside consultant failed to find evidence that the Underground Railroad stopped at seven imperiled rowhouses on Duffield and Gold streets (PDF), Mayor Bloomberg could have pressed on, letting the properties be condemned and then flattened to make way for a park and underground parking lot envisioned in the 2004 Downtown Read More