11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport

Year Listed: 2013
Location: Jamaica, New York
Threat: Demolition

Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport
Photo by Anthony Stramaglia

Significance

Opened in 1960, Worldport Terminal at JFK Airport, known for its flying-saucer shape, symbolizes America’s entry into the Jet Age and has been featured in several Hollywood films. The first commercial flights of the Boeing 707, the first “modern” jetliner, departed from the Terminal. In May 2013, Delta Airlines ceased operations from the Worldport Terminal, since renamed Terminal Three, and current plans of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey call for the demolition of the iconic structure.

Alternatives to demolishing the Worldport include demolishing the south concourse instead and using Worldport as a connecting facility between Terminals Two and Four, as a dedicated or premier terminal or as an independent building open to the public containing a museum, restaurants, shops, aircraft observation space, airport employee daycare or other purposes.

Within days of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places announcement in 2013, Delta Airlines quietly began demolition of the Worldport.