Ms. Clifford’s cause is the colossal red, purple, sapphire and white stained-glass window that has greeted travelers at American Airlines Terminal 8 ever since the terminal opened in 1960 at Kennedy Airport, then known as Idlewild. The abstract modern glass facade, 23 feet high and as long as a football field, was designed by the artist Robert Sowers to create a kind of Jet Age cathedral, and when installed it was the world’s largest stained-glass structure. But for the past year it has been threatened with demolition, and its fate will be decided in the next six weeks, according to Charles Wilson, an American Airlines spokesman.
In a Jet-Age Cathedral, a Lonely Crusade to Save a Window
Photo from NY Times
Ms. Eileen Clifford:
Regardless of the stained glass window's fate, always remember you may have been an amateur preservationist, but you are certainly a hero in the eyes of many.
It is beyond comprehension as to how American Airlines can say, "The only planned act of preservation involved using some of the glass to make key-chain keepsakes for the airline’s employees."
The largest stained glass window in a public building, and the first of its type, set a precedent for decades to follow. It has inspired passersby, preservationists, architects, & artists.
Reducing this rare, imaginative, & inspiring work to souvenir keychains, or only preserving a portion, would be an insult to history & New York City. Anything short of preserving it in its ENTIRETY would be unforgivable. We urge you to do the right thing on behalf of the people. After all, that is a public building.
This ought to be landmarked, like the TWA terminal, but with a troll like Mary Beth Betts at the helm of the research Dept. at the LPC.....don't hold your breath and expect much !
LPC equals......."Lazy Partners in Crime" !
Castle Clinton and Ellis Island were both used as immigration ports. I was hoping that some day, JFK woulds also receive a museum of its own. For millions of immigrants who arrived via JFK, its a legacy worth preserving.
My family arrived through the iconic TWA terminal in 1992, a memorable first impression of our new homeland.
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