Public Buildings in America

Hello again, after a long hiatus. I’m still here!

I just happened upon a nice update on the renovation of the old Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal at JFK airport. Of course it’s beautiful. Check out the rendering of that fountain-lined entrance! But of course it’s not going to be an airport anymore, either. Somewhere in the last 50 years, we decided that communal public spaces like airports should be caustic, unpleasant environments with a minimum of comfort and ornamentation. There are exceptions big and small, but grand public spaces are largely not being built in the United States anymore. We save that class of work for luxury hotels, theaters, and so on. It’s a shame, because it’s a choice we make.

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