Worldport (Pan Am)

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Terminal 3
Pan Am Worldport.jpg
The original configuration of the Pan Am Worldport at JFK airport, now known simply as Terminal 3
Alternative names Worldport
General information
Status Demolished
Opening May 24, 1960
Demolished 2013
Client Pan American World Airways

Terminal 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, formerly known by the trademarked name Worldport, was an iconic airport terminal built by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1960. It opened on May 24, 1960 and ceased operations on May 24, 2013; it is expected to be demolished by 2015.[1]

History[edit]

The distinctive "flying saucer" roof design of the Worldport

The terminal was originally known as the "Pan Am Terminal" or Pan Am "Unit Terminal Building (UTB)." It was designed by Ives, Turano & Gardner Associated Architects and Walther Prokosch of Tippets-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton as a showcase for international jet travel and is particularly famous for its 4-acre (1.6 ha) "flying saucer" roof suspended far from the outside columns of the terminal by 32 sets of prestressed steel posts and cables. The terminal was designed to allow for aircraft to be parked under the partial overhang; marketing brochures promoted that the jet-age terminal brought the plane to the passenger. The overhang sheltered passengers as they boarded the aircraft by stairs or by uncovered bridges. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Guide to New York City called the terminal a "genuine architectural attempt to answer the problem of all-weather connections to the planes" but derided the overall concept as "compromised by an overabundance of distracting detail".[2]

A Pan Am Boeing 707-100 at Worldport (1961).

The building's facade originally featured zodiac figures made by sculptor Milton Hebald,[3] although these were later removed by the Port Authority.[4] The terminal featured the Panorama Room, a dining room with a view of the entire concourse, and the Clipper Hall museum of Pan Am history.

In 1971, the terminal was expanded to accommodate the large Boeing 747 and renamed the "Pan Am Worldport". The Worldport was the world's largest airline terminal and held the title for several years.

Operation of the Worldport changed hands when Pan Am declared bankruptcy in 1991. Delta Air Lines acquired many of Pan Am's assets, including the lease on the Worldport, which became known simply as "Terminal 3", and operated most of its long-haul flights out of JFK to Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America from the building.[citation needed]

In March 2006, Delta COO Jim Whitehurst announced that Delta would spend US$10 million before the end of that year to renovate Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, including its public spaces, BusinessElite lounge, and Crown Room Clubs.[5] In the July 2007 issue of Delta's Sky Magazine, Delta Senior Vice President Joanne Smith remarked on the "distinctive" saucer roof in an article on new flooring, lighting, and signage at this "historic airport".

Redevelopment[edit]

Terminal 3 as it appeared in October 2012.

On August 4, 2010, The New York Times reported that Delta was planning to move its international flights to Terminal 4 following the construction of nine additional gates in Concourse B of that terminal. Construction began in November 2010 and was completed in May 2013. Delta's domestic flights are continuing to be operated out of Terminal 2. Terminal 3 is planned to be demolished and the freed space will be used for parking aircraft.[6] Demolition is expected to be completed by 2015.[7] Preservation groups are campaigning to save the building and have it nominated by the New York State Historic Preservation Office as a historic place.[8]

On May 23, 2013 the final departure from the terminal, Delta Air Lines Flight 268, a Boeing 747-400 to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, departed from Gate 6 at 11:25pm local time. The terminal ceased operations on May 24, 2013, 53 years to the day from when it opened on May 24, 1960.[9]

By June 25, 2013, demolition of the road leading to the terminal had begun, although a group of preservationists continued to protest against the demolition of the Worldport itself.[10] The National Trust for Historic Preservation cited the site as one of ten historic sites lost in 2013.[6] It had been on the trust's 11 most endangered sites list.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

The Worldport in Live and Let Die

The Worldport has appeared in several films. A Pan Am Boeing 747 and the Worldport briefly appear in the James Bond film Live and Let Die, and in the opening sequence of The Family Man, in which the actor Nicolas Cage checks in at the Worldport for a Pan Am flight from New York to London. Doris Day boarded a Pan Am flight out of the Worldport in the film That Touch of Mink. The Worldport is featured in most episodes of the television series Pan Am, as the show's Pan Am characters are based out of the Worldport.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News from the Blue Room". The City of New York. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  2. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City. Oxford University Press. p. 811. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Knox, Sanka. "IDLEWILD SKYLINE GETS AN ADDITION; New Pan Am Terminal Looks Like Parasol to Motorists Approaching Airport", New York Times, June 3, 1960. Accessed October 28, 2008.
  4. ^ Staff. "Outrage.(Pan American airport terminal in disrepair)", Architectural Review, December 2000. Accessed October 28, 2008.
  5. ^ Boehmer, Jay (March 20, 2006). "Delta Air Lines To Surpass American In JFK Departures". Business Travel News. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  6. ^ a b c staff (January 5, 2014). "A look at 10 historic sites save, 10 lost in 2013". Associated Press as reported by the Post Crescent. p. F3. 
  7. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (August 4, 2010). "Delta to Move at Kennedy as End Nears for Old Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  8. ^ "Save The Pan Am Worldport". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Frischling, Steven. "Photographer". Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Clare Trapasso (June 25, 2013). "Preservationists fight to save Pan Am terminal 'Worldport' at JFK airport". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°38′26″N 73°47′12″W / 40.640555°N 73.786572°W / 40.640555; -73.786572