Pan-Am Terminal at JFK: Save or Scrap?

  • 02 Jul 2013
  • by
  • Architecture News mini


© Jon Proctor

Paul Goldberger weighs in on the shaky future of the architectural gems at JFK (which includes Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal), saying, “Like the Worldport, TWA is unworkable as a modern terminal. Both buildings are tiny by today’s standards, and there’s no place for security equipment except in the middle of the space, where it obliterates any sense of the architecture. But their small size also means that they don’t take up all that much real estate, and they ought to be usable as something other than as places where people get on and off airplanes—as restaurants and shops, say, or as a museum.” What do you think? Save or scrap?

Cite: AD Editorial Team. "Pan-Am Terminal at JFK: Save or Scrap?" 02 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Truck Boy

    As the question is posed, a binary answer does not even begin to cover the possibilities. Though “save” and “scrap” are opposed suggestions, they do not even represent the polar ends of the solution spectrum. What if we went Roman style on JFK and built right on top of these ruins, utilizing them as a quasi foundation, but inherently ignoring them. How about relocating them to smaller airports so their function could be restored to the original intent?

  • Breck Craparo


    Look around, even on this site, and we will find plenty of effort, resources, and money is being put into projects aspiring to capture what the spaces has achieved.

    This is already built, begging to be activated!

    My vote is SAVE.

  • Patrick BH

    The TWA Terminal must be preserved and restored to its original condition. The thought of demolition is just too awful to contemplate. Maybe – as a large airport is essentially a shopping mall these days – the terminal should be for Prada or Gucci or Armani. All that red carpet, all those lovely catwalks.

    TWA… prêt-à-porter.

  • St89

    It’s foolish even to consider a demolition for this buildings, as it is a wide open space it could be preserved and be hold all kinds of events like.

    It could be a multi-purpose space intend of giving it just one.


  • Chris Rogers

    Save, obviously. A stunning space. We must learn that function and monetisation aren’t the only gods – aesthetics, visual pleasure and craft count, too.

  • Gary Belcher

    While we’re at it, the old Pennsylvania Station in NYC should be rebuilt too. Its destruction was a terrible loss to American architecture and to the public.