Landmark JFK Stained Glass Coming Down

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, Josh Geidel, nichols, Java

hoodlam
Modern Master
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:16 pm
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Contact:

Landmark JFK Stained Glass Coming Down

Postby hoodlam » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:59 pm

I will prefice this with i searched and found nothing about this topic anywhere on lotta living:

Landmark JFK Stained Glass Coming Down
By AMY WESTFELDT – 10 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Its red, sapphire and purple stained-glass panels have greeted millions of air travelers arriving at and departing New York since 1960.

Now, the panels are the ones on the move.

American Airlines last week quietly began dismantling the 900-pane window facade at an old John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, despite pleas to keep the piece intact.

Many museums said the work — more than 300 feet long and 23 feet high — was too large to handle. The airline said removing it in one piece, transporting it and storing it would cost millions.

"It's not necessarily the outcome that everyone might have hoped for," airline spokesman Tim Smith said Wednesday. "But any solutions were extraordinarily expensive and no one would be able to do that."

Smith said small pieces of the window would become displays at Kennedy Airport, the airline's Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters, and a Long Island museum. The rest is being given to an antique salvage company that is taking down the glass for free.

Artist Robert Sowers created the modern glass facade for American's terminal when it opened in 1960 at Kennedy, then known as Idlewild Airport. It was believed to be the world's largest stained-glass window.

An artist who said he studied with the window's designer criticized its removal, saying the airline was too cheap to properly restore a priceless work of art.

"That was American Airlines' visual identity at Kennedy for 50 years. To just throw it in a trash heap is incredibly disrespectful," said Kenneth vonRoenn, an architect and glass artist in Louisville, Ky. "To intentionally destroy it because it was more cost effective ... it's regrettable."

The airline announced plans more than a decade ago to build a new, larger terminal at Kennedy. The $1.3 billion facility opened last summer after years of discussion of what to do with the window. A proposal to scrap the glass and convert pieces of it into employee key chains was instantly derided and fell through.

Eileen Clifford, a 29-year American flight attendant from West Islip, said the window was a beacon for her. She called dozens of conservation groups, asking museums such as the Smithsonian to preserve and display it.

"It's too big," she said they told her. She said the Cradle of Aviation museum in Garden City had agreed to take it, but a museum official said it might only be able to use a small part of the window.

Smith, the airline spokesman, said no group came forward with an offer to display the window in its entirety.

American Airlines needs to work fast to take down the terminal the facade is attached to and use the empty space to store ground equipment such as snowplows and de-icing machines. The airline spends around $50,000 a day in construction costs as long as the building stands.

The company removing the glass panels has already taken down about 10 percent of the panels and hopes to have the entire window dismantled in three weeks, Smith said. The airline will then select which pieces — about 2 feet by 4 feet — it would like to use for the three separate displays.

VonRoenn said the company doesn't specialize in removing stained glass and would likely damage the surviving pieces. Furthermore, he said, small displays of the window panels "won't visually make any sense." Sowers, who died in 1990, wouldn't want it, he said.

"Just destroy it," vonRoenn said. "He would rather have not any part of it seen than to have it portioned off."

On the Net:
Rescue group: http://saveamericaswindow.org

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.

Postby nichols » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:53 pm


User avatar
Synthetrix
Modern Master
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:02 pm
Location: Wilmington, CA
Contact:

Postby Synthetrix » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:04 pm

How sad. That was such a beautiful stained glass work.
Synthetrix Photos of the Forgotten
http://photosoftheforgotten.synthetrix.com/

modfan
Space Cadet (over 2001 posts)
Posts: 2091
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 8:28 am
Location: East of Balboa Highlands in Sylmar

Typical

Postby modfan » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:00 am

LAME excuse.
And there's plenty of money in NYC-eh Donald Trump! to get the whole thing and put it in one of his projects-oh I guess he's not interested as it doesn't have his mug on it. This coulda been a task for his apprentice TV show.

CapitalMod
Modern Master
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby CapitalMod » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:05 pm

Trump doesn't like MCM. He takes perfectly nice buildings and turns them into huge, black mirrors. Kind of like the Monolith in 2001.

Thoroughly Modern Michael
Modern Fan
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Contact:

Postby Thoroughly Modern Michael » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:06 pm

How sad. Another icon at JFK bites the dust. I fondly remember the sleek and lovely Tri-Faith chapels. Then went the glamorous Skidmore, Owings and Merrill International Arrivals building. Who knows what will be the ultimate fate of Saarinen's masterpiece, the TWA building, a building that is up there with the pyramids, IMHO.


Return to “Mid Century Modern Preservation Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests