The Flight Center at the new TWA Hotel has a pre-apocalyptic vibe. Pure white concrete, with gestural wings, the Eero Saarinen-designed former terminal is forever suspended in the Golden Age of flying. We know, though, that destruction is coming for this way of life -- '60s glamour, sexy stewardesses, pre-9/11 security, smoking on planes.
“He wanted the…Flight Center to express the drama and wonder of air travel,” reads a quote by Aline Saarinen, Eero’s wife, pasted onto the Flight Center’s wall. “He wanted to provide a building in which the human being felt uplifted, important and full of anticipation.”
Air travel’s still full of drama, all right, what with the French bulldogs being stuffed into overhead compartments and bloodied doctors being dragged off planes. But any feeling of wonder or anticipation is long gone: Instead, we’re barefoot and humiliated, having our underwire wanded by the TSA before being stuffed into a tiny seat without a snack for seven hours.