Celebrating the glamorous days of transatlantic air travel, the main room of the Marine Air Terminal shows a spectacular introduction to the adventure of flying and remains one of the city's most distinctive Art Deco interiors. The striking circular space is planned with rational simplicity: two stories high with a three-tiered, skylit ceiling. Deep green marble walls set off its defining feature: a vividly colored wraparound mural by James Brooks depicting the history of flight and man's quest to conquer the skies.
It was an original part of LaGuardia Airport, at the time the world's largest and most expensive building costing $40 million. Constructed on a site bordering Flushing Bay that once held an amusement park and later a private airfield, it was the city's first municipal airport. The airport was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and supported by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, for whom it was named after.
The 2005 restoration of the terminal by the Port Authority NY/NJ, overseen by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners was completed, included repairs to the exterior-most notably the reconstruction of exterior frieze of flying fish—as well as the refurbishment of the interior, including cleaning the mural to reveal its original vivid hues. The Marine Air Terminals is now the only active airport terminal in the country dating to the first generation of air travel with services shuttle flights to Chicago, and Washington DC—a modest but vivid reminder of the days when flying was novel and glamorous experience.
Image Credit: AtDisneyAgain via Wikimedia Commons