In 2012, it’s hard to imagine catching a flight as anything but a routine, frequently dehumanizing process – waiting in long security lines, bad food and cramped terminals conspire to make our flying experience less than enjoyable. This wasn’t always the case – back in the 1960s, flying was considered a glamorous, cutting edge industry, and the design of the airports matched that perception.
A great example of this is long-ago closed TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. Opened in 1962 and designed by visionary architect Eero Saarinen, the building’s soaring departures lobby, sleek waiting lounges and polished interior beckon travelers towards an optimistic golden age of travel that was just getting started. Today, that terminal lies tantalizing out of reach, a designated National Historic Landmark that rests unused and waiting directly in front of JetBlue’s massive new Terminal 5.
Earlier this weekend, Gadling traveled out to JFK as part of Open House New York to take a sneak peek inside the now-shuttered terminal of TWA to get a taste of what air travel used to be like. Want to see what the glory days of air travel looked like for travelers? Take a peek inside the gallery below.