Flying into the Future through a Golden Age Doorway

As a newly minted salesperson, I flew the Pan Am shuttle to Boston a million times. Ticket book in hand, I’d run through the terminal getting to the gate just in time to jump on the plane.

Focused on my client meetings, and trying not to draw the ire of my relentless sales manager, I never saw anything around me. Today, Scouting New York has shown me what I, and many other road warriors have missed, an incredible tribute to the Golden Age of Air Travel, the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia.

Some background with the photographic stylings of KLAD’s favorite location scout/blogger, Nick Carr

From Wikipedia:

The Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York City remains the only active airport terminal dating from the first generation of passenger travel in the United States

Entrance to Marine Air Terminal

—the “Golden age of the flying boat.” Originally built to handle sea planes, the Marine Air Terminal, an Art Deco building designed in 1939 by William Delano of the firm Delano & Aldrich, consists of a central circular core of two stories with an attic from which a rectangular entrance pavilion and two symmetrically opposed one-story wings project.

Flying Boat Detail, Marine Air Terminal

Inside the terminal hangs “Flight,” a mural measuring 12 feet (3.7 m) in height and 237 feet (72 m) in length, the largest mural created as part of the Great Depression-era Works Projects Administration (WPA).[2]Completed by James Brooks in 1940, “Flight” depicts the history of man’s involvement with flight. The mural was painted over without explanation by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in the 1950s, possibly because some saw left-wing symbolism in it.[3] After an extensive restoration project headed by aviation historian Geoffrey Arend, the mural was rededicated on September 18, 1980.[4]

Flight Mural, restored, 1980


Pan American Airways’ Yankee Clipper, a Boeing 314, made its first flight across the mid-Atlantic on March 26, 1939.

The terminal has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.

This transom might be inspired by "Wings of Man"

I’m adding some of Nick’s photos of the magic details found at the terminal.






Chair detail from The Yankee Clipper Cafeteria

For more on the Marine Air Terminal, and other treasures to discover at LaGuardia, please visit Scouting NY.

Bon Voyage!

Original passenger waiting area benches

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