Saturday, April 5, 2008

Art Deco from Aviation's Golden Age

John had some good photos so I thought I'd post some too...

The other day I wasn't in Japan (although my brother-in-law was - he flew all the way to Tokyo from Boston for the Red Sox' opener), but I was in the old main terminal hall at (Ronald Reagan) National Airport.

The Main Terminal hall (now called Terminal A) is open, following lengthy renovation, but isn't being used. It's just "on the way" between the parking garage and the new terminals where all the flights are.

It has a lot of history, though. It was completed in 1940, as part of the New Deal airport construction that produced many glorious Art Deco edifices, including La Guardia, and the now-demolished Tampa Airport terminal at Peter O. Knight field.

Here's a close up of the plaque:

National, like most of the other terminals, was built by the Works Progress Administration, who were serious about their Art Deco. Although I am no Rooseveltian Socialist, I'm all in favor of government bureaucrasy that is serious about Art Deco.

Here's some more:

That photo doesn't do the architecture justice...

By the way - for those who are following the subject: the presentation about Juan Trippe's globe has been rescheduled from April 9 to April 30. This is bad for me because I'm afraid I'll miss it. It is only a 15 minute event, however, so I think I'm going to go down to the Smithsonian sometime in the next week and check out the new exhibit, and maybe try to talk to the Conservatrix Of The Globe personally.


Nathan said...

I love Art Deco. Unlike some of the crap from the 50's, 60's and 70's, it's architecture that looked to the future and has held up over time.

John the Scientist said...

You're not going to be there in late April? Dang. By the time you posted, the date had already changed, and that's when I could be there. I had assumed late April was what you meant.

Heading East again in a few days.

CW said...

I've got to go back South for the last week of April, unfortunately. I should be back in DC sometime in May, however - no exact date yet.