Kennedy's Worldport terminal called 'endangered' by preservation group
Like the Bengal tiger and blue whale, Kennedy Airport's Worldport terminal -- set to be demolished by 2015 -- has officially been classified as "endangered."
A group dedicated to saving the flying-saucer shaped terminal, owned by the Port Authority and leased by Delta Airlines, helped land the architectural marvel on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's latest list of America's 11 most endangered historic places, which was released Wednesday.
Preservationist group "Save the Worldport" was co-founded by Kalev Savi and Anthony Stramaglia, two New Jersey residents who felt a connection to the landmark building. Savi started a Facebook group when he heard of the Port Authority's plans to destroy the terminal and replace it with an airplane parking lot.
Since 2011, the group has campaigned tirelessly to save the Worldport, lobbying the Port Authority with proposed plans for re-purposing the terminal, waging a social media campaign and more..
"We're very glad that they selected us," Stramaglia said of the trust, "but of course it's a bittersweet nomination because there's the word 'endangered,'" Stramaglia said. "And endangered means that the status hasn't changed."
However, the terminal's presence on the list might help lead to action, according to the National Trust's senior New York field officer Roberta Lane.
"We've had over 240 places on the list and only a handful have been lost," she said. "So the chances [of the terminal being saved]of are good."
Lane said the trust picked the Worldport to be on its list in part because of "Save the Worldport's" grassroots efforts.
"It represents the jet age, such a historic moment in the history of design and aviation," Lane said. "For that, we thought we should raise awareness that there's a threat there."
For Stramaglia, in addition to his fond personal memories of the terminal, the historic events that have taken place under the "architecturally unique" umbrella -- like the Beatles' departure from the U.S. after their first tour -- are reason enough to preserve it.
"So much happened under that umbrella that people don't realize," he said.