April 28, 2009 Charles Goodman

The Allure of MCM Airport Terminals

Preservation magazine has a nice piece by Sudip Bose on the power of mid-century airport terminals, including two in our area: Eero Saarinen’s iconic terminal at Dulles and the historic Terminal A at National, early designs of which were done by local modernist Charles Goodman.

“To be sure, many of the new concourses in the world—from Hong Kong to Singapore, London to Indianapolis—are among the most exciting places on earth,” Bose writes. “And there’s no doubting the need for new spaces to accommodate blooming crowds and increased security demands. But no matter how glorious the design, no mega-terminal can recall the spirit, the romance of an earlier era the way the old airports do. Those terminals conveyed the very essence of air travel, symbolizing the splendors and possibilities of the era. They practically called out, “Come fly with me,” inspiring a profound sense of wonder.”

No wonder why he thinks they should preserved.