Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dismantling a real Queens mosaic

It was called the longest window in the world when its red, sapphire and purple panels were unveiled to airport travelers in 1960. Artists called the window _ longer than a football field and more than 20 feet high _ one of the most important stained-glass works in the U.S.

But American Airlines quietly began dismantling the window's 900 panels last week at its old John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, after years of debate and pleas by employees and artists to find a way to keep the abstract, multicolored piece intact.

Many museums asked to display the window _ over 300 feet long and 23 feet high _ said it was too large. And the airline said that removing it in one piece, moving it and storing it would cost many millions.

Too large and expensive, JFK airport stained glass coming down

Photo from NY Times


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

shouldn't this have been calendered for landmarking
beast Betts?

Oh, I forgot....
I suppose it would not have met
LPC's mysteriously elusive "criteria"

Anonymous said...

Well Queens Historical Society should have been there or making some effort at saving this.

Instead they waste time on digging up rocks, leaving useless Queensmarks around the boro (shows their 'ownership' of Queens as the 'self proclaimed' official boro historical society) and ... well, what DO they do?

Anonymous said...

Airport architecture, no matter how beautiful has a temporary feel, subject to the demands of a growing industry. JFK Airport once had three huge religious chapels, demolished for a parking lot. The Eero Saarinen TWA Terminal was almost lost to the wrecking ball. Now, the stained glass windows are ocming down.

The message to architects is that no matter how beautiful an airline terminal is, it is temporary, so down't bother thinking beautiful. Just build a glass box, that's all.

We Light Up Queens said...

It is quite a shame, when historical and beautiful pieces of Queens are removed and/or destroyed for not real reason.

Anonymous said...

Was this covered by HDC and MAS?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Queens Historical Society
had already given it their "coveted" no count Queensmark (the poor man's landmark)
and that's why it came down.....ha, ha, ha!

It's funny how many Queensmarked buildings
have already been destroyed.

Has the Queensmark,in fact, become a deathmark?

Many people
who have walked by historic buildings with those useless QHS bronze plaques affixed to them
assumed they were protected from demolition.

Sorry folks.... it isn't so.

QHS continues to pull the wool over the eyes of many Queens-ites with their ersatz Queensmark.

At about $100 apiece (we're told)....
shouldn't they be kicking the LPC in the ass
instead of wasting money on wasted efforts?

Anonymous said...

Queens marks are successful because Queens is sealed away from the real world, the Manhattan folks would be only to happy to let us walk around with a little badge that says 'deputy sheriff' (like the one you got in cereral years ago) and as to the Queens preservation leadership, chosen for their 'pliability.'

Anonymous said...

One of the things that makes this mural and the building significant, it was part of a time when Idlewild was switching from prop aircraft to jets. Much like the TWA terminal. It was a glorious time in NY and Queens. The greatest generation hitting their stride.

Anonymous said...

No excuse for a modernist icon that revolutionized stained glass! Where are the Lazy Partners in Crime, also known as the LPC? Kissing up to what they favor in Manhattan? Robert Tierney is only in position since he's a friend of Bloomberg. To my understanding, he has no degree in historic preservation.

Anonymous said...

wasn't this the same airport that recently "eliminated" the stray cats on its property?

Anonymous said...

Tierney was a lawyer I believe......
probably not a very good one at that,
or he'd be running a kick ass law firm.

Bumbling Bob's chairmanship appointment
is his retirement package.....a golden parachute.

Give me a nose clip
and I'd kiss Mayor Dumb-berg's ass
to get such a cushy (practically no-show) job
like Bobby boy has!