Vintage New York Airports

My grandfather spent some of his adolescent years in the Bronx. As an adult he and my family visited the city many times. He loved architecture and airplanes. His time in the Army Air Corp in World War II instilled that interest, I think.

In going through his archives I found several photos of famous (some now demolished) terminals at what was then called Idlewild airport. New York changed the name to JFK airport after the assassination of the President.

The terminals were an homage to mid-century modern architecture and advances in central air and heat. The early 1960s marked the dawn of the jet era in commercial aviation.

Airlines commissioned prestigious architects to design terminals that reflected that hopeful, storied time reflected so well in the series Mad Men. TWA commissioned Eero Saarinen to design the TWA terminal, now on the register of historic places.

My grandfather took two photos of my aunts inside the TWA terminal as well as an exterior shot of the Pan Am Terminal and the American Airlines Terminal, with its glass exterior.

During the 1950s he and my grandmother and father disembarked at La Guardia Airport. LaGuardia Airport hosts Terminal A, which, to this day, is the only active airport terminal that dates back to the first days of passenger travel in the United States.

Enjoy these photos.

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