Two weeks ago, New York Governer Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a plan to transform LaGuardia airport into "a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York." However the redesign is not universally popular. In this article originally titled "The New LaGuardia Airport: Not Functional, Not Inspiring, Not an Icon," - the first of his regular column over at 6sqft - architecture critic Carter B. Horsley explains why "Queens deserves better."
The recent announcement by Governor Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden of plans to “rebuild” La Guardia Airport at a cost of $4 billion was described in a Page One caption in The Post as “the end of an error,” a reference to the airport’s reputation that became tarnished over the years. Last October, Biden remarked that if someone had taken him to LaGuardia, he’d think he was in “some Third World country.”
Since its opening in 1939, when it accommodated “flying boats” at its Marine Air Terminal, the airport has not kept up with the growth of jumbo jets and air travel in general, but in the days of the Super Constellation passenger planes with their triple-tails and sloping noses, it was a very nice Art Deco place.
The published renderings that accompanied the announcement were not terribly reassuring, as they depicted a very long curved terminal with gangly tentacles raised over plane taxiways that hinted at torsos of praying mantises: an awkward rather than a graceful vault.