Following Susan S. Szenasy’s column in the October issue [“Eero Saarinen Remembered”] and the interview with Jayne Merkel [“Reconsidering Eero”], I wanted to tell you of an experience I had recently while trying to find my way back to Manhattan from JFK via the AirTrain.
While circumnavigating the airport for the second time, I was commiserating with a fellow traveler, also on his second AirTrain trip around JFK. Turns out he was a young architect visiting New York from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was on a brief architectural tour of the United States and had already spent a few days in Los Angeles and a week in Chicago. He had arrived in New York some days earlier but had spent this day at Kennedy “worshipping,” as he said, the TWA terminal. He opened up a sketch tablet to show me the many studies he had made—several pages of them.
He told me that he had called the Port Authority to get their approval to visit the terminal. It had taken him the better part of the previous day to gain permission. It seems security is tight even at this unused terminal. The hassle with the Port Authority was worthwhile, he said, as was the very confusing trip on the AirTrain. Saarinen, he said, is one of his favorite architects. “He was so versatile,” he told me. “His designs are so clean and sweeping with just the right number of curves to offset their angularity.”
When we finally found our way back to Manhattan, he boarded the subway to Lincoln Center, the next stop on his New York tour.