LaGuardia Airport

Delta breaks ground on its new LaGuardia terminal.

Maybe – someday – we’ll love New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Again.

Signs are pointing in the right direction.

On Tuesday Delta Air lines broke ground on its $4 billion, 37-gate facility at LaGuardia – part of the over-all transformation of the airport we’ve been promised.

Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, was there, along with New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and a variety of local and regional dignitaries.

“The groundbreaking at Delta’s facilities represents another step forward as we build an entirely new airport at LaGuardia,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Together with our private-sector partners, we are making rapid progress to create the world-class gateway to the Empire State that New Yorkers deserve.”

Delta’s new terminal promises four concourses with 37 flexibly-sized gates to accommodate Delta’s full fleet; a new, larger Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck; new hold rooms with more seating; 30 percent more concessions space; and “sustainable and scalable technology befitting of an airport of the future.”

“We know the new LaGuardia is one that New Yorkers will be proud to call their hometown airport,” said Delta’s Bastian. “And we are confident that this investment will further cement Delta as the No. 1 airline in New York, with the best customer service and experience on the ground as well as in the air.”

Here are some drawings released by Gov. Cuomo’s office showing what’s in store. Let’s hope the art and greenery makes it to the final cut.

 

 

 

 

A new LaGuardia Airport? It will happen.

LGA Airport

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the long-awaited plan for the promised makeover of LaGuardia Airport, which U.S. vice-president Joe Biden likened to one found in “some Third World country.”

The make-over of the airport will be massive: it will cost at least $4 billion and include one unified terminal building “designed so passengers intuitively understand the airport’s layout,” an automated tram, business and conference center capabilities, better roadways and public transportation to and from the airport, better taxiways for the airplanes, a cell phone lot, a consolidated rental car center, a boutique hotel and the services, dining and shopping options now offered by first-class airports elsewhere.

A tall order? Sure, you betcha’. But something has to be done.

Here’s a video that details the design that just might make you believe it will happen.

And here’s a link to the full report.

No mention of bringing back the Observation Deck or the Sky Bar.

LGA SKYBAR

LAG SKYBAR

Worms at LaGuardia Airport

There will be worms. And sunflowers.

Changi -Sunflower garden

Earth Day is coming up – and to spread the word about their green initiatives, the Food & Shops at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, JetBlue Airways and The Port Authority of NY & NJ are hosting a “Choose Green” event on Thursday afternoon with a hands-on composting worm exhibit, courtesy of the Queens Botanical Garden.

Not into worms? There will be coloring and face painting for kids and, for adults who say they’ll “Choose Green,” a chance to enter into a drawing to win two JetBlue tickets and get a free sunflower growing kit.

Not traveling through New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday between noon and 4 pm? You can enter the contest on Twitter. More details here:

The mural at LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal

"Flight"  James Brooks  Marine Air Terminal, Queens NY

In the new book Murals of New York City: The Best of New York’s Public Paintings from Bemelmans to Parrish, Glenn Palmer-Smith includes the story of the WPA-era mural Flight, by James Brooks, in the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

Flight was the last and largest mural produced under the auspices of the WPA and is 237 feet long by 12 feet high and, appropriately enough, tells the story of the history of flight.

Here’s Palmer-Smith’s description:

“The narrative flows from the mythology of Icarus and Daedalus to the genius of da Vinci and the Wright brothers. Pre–World War II aerial navigators are shown plotting their routes with paper maps and rulers. The culmination of man’s dream arrives at the golden age of the ‘flying boat,’ when glamorous Pan Am Clipper seaplanes would land on water after a flight from Lisbon, Rio, or any city with a sheltered harbor, and taxi up to the Marine Air Terminal dock.”

In 1952, after being on the wall for just a decade, the mural was painted over. It was the height of the McCarthy era and officials at the Port Authority thought the imagery somehow looked too socialist.

“In particular, these self-appointed art critics took exception to the mural’s suggestion that air travel would be available one day for ordinary people and not just the military and the rich,” notes Palmer-Smith.

Lucky for us, the mural had been sealed in varnish and was eventually discovered, restored and finally rededicated in 1980. It’s now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

(Photo: Photo by Joshua McHugh. From Murals of New York City:The Best of New York’s Public Paintings from Bemelmans to Parrish. Mural: James Brooks, Flight, 1942. All art by James Brooks is © Estate of James Brooks and Charlotte Parks/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.)

Toe-tapping time at LaGuardia Airport

The Food & Shops at LaGuardia Airport is continuing its free Friday concert series this month in the Central Terminal Building.

The shows take place every Friday from 11:00am – 3:00pm in the center food court, between Gates B and C. Here’s the August line-up:

° August 3 – The Bassenettes Pop Trio
° August 10 – The Dynamic Dixieland Duo
° August 17 – Jesante Latin Music

° August 24 – The Caribbean Talent Mart

And for kids stuck at the airport, there’s a coloring station in the center food court. Find it between Gates B & C, in front of Hudson Booksellers. It’s open from 8am through 8pm until September 4, 2012.