Demolishing Worldport to Put Up a Parking Lot

By | August 6, 2010
Image by mokolabs via Flickr

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved demolition of Terminal 3 at JFK and the overhaul of Terminal 4. Terminal 4 will be expanded with nine additional gates, which Delta will move into, occupying 16 out of 25 total gates, after which Terminal 3 will be demolished to provide 16 aircraft parking spaces. They will also be expanding T4’s international baggage hall and customs facilities to accommodate the increased traffic.

As they put it, “Terminal 3, originally built in 1960 for PanAm Worldport, consistently ranks among the lowest in the Port Authority’s customer service surveys. With the corridors designed pre- jumbo jet age and prior to the demands of many security requirements, the terminal is functionally outmoded, difficult to keep in a state-of-good repair, and delivers a customer experience well below the expectations of 21st century travelers.

The new terminal space should be ready in 2013. It is a sad day when an iconic piece of transit architecture is demolished. We agree that the design of the terminal is not conducive to the modern world, but if the original building cannot be saved…can something of this structure be? Terminal 2 is an uninteresting box and just as functionally outmoded…why isn’t it going? We’ve talked about this before, in a post last month.

We would gladly see Central Terminal at LaGuardia demolished and we wouldn’t shed a tear. We’d even volunteer to operate the wrecking ball. But some structures stick in your head. We’d love to see even a tiny commuter offshoot area of the new terminal that had a similar design, to pay homage.

Where does this leave us? The Sundrome and the Worldport are to be demolished…that leaves old TWA terminal as the last iconic terminal at JFK. Although in defense of the Port Authority…nothing is being done with the historic building as a space. We had hoped for a museum, or such, on the grounds. It is valuable real estate, and should be used.

The loss of history…And all for more parking spaces.