Modernism for the Jet Set

By  | 

THOUGH IT MAY BE HARD TO BELIEVE TODAY, designers and architects once conceived of air travel as a luxury experience. Beleaguered travelers passing through John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5 can glimpse one remnant from this golden age: Eero Saarinen’s Trans World Airlines Flight Center, built in 1962. This 1964 photo by Balthazar Korab, showcasing the swooping curves of the terminal’s lobby in a blissfully empty state, will be on display in Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture, an exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, beginning on March 18. Renovations of the iconic mid-century structure are now underway, and, starting in 2019, a new hotel and lounge will provide travelers with a stylish way station in which to relax and sip a drink before boarding their next flight.