37¢ TWA Terminal
Modern American Architecture
Issue Date: May 19, 2005
City: Las Vegas, NV
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 11
Architect Eero Saarinen designed the Trans World Airlines (TWA) Terminal building at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York City. Saarinen (1910-61) was born in Finland into an artistic family. His father was a well-known architect and his mother was a sculptor and a photographer.
In 1923, Saarinen’s family moved to the U.S. After high school, Saarinen studied sculpture for a year in Paris, then enrolled in the architecture program at Yale.
In 1947, Saarinen won a competition to design the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. His huge, simple arch became the famous “Gateway to the West.”
Saarinen’s greatest architectural work, however, was the TWA Terminal at JFK (known as Idlewild Airport at that time). The free-flowing structure is made from concrete reinforced with steel. Saarinen wanted “...a building in which the architecture itself would express the drama and specialness and excitement of travel.”
Few straight lines exist inside or outside the terminal. The shapes of even small details, like the check-in counters, chairs, signs, and telephone booths, echo the building’s soaring, curving shell.
Saarinen died a year before the terminal opened.