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'IDLEWILD AIRPORT IN THE BEGINNING'
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: 'IDLEWILD AIRPORT IN THE BEGINNING' Reply with quote

Came across this extremely rare photo of the what was becoming the main terminal (actually the only terminal at the time) at the then Idlewild Airport (now JFK) in Jamaica, New York.

It's 1947 and the complex is still in construction as are the runways and two or three maintenance hangars far off to the eastern end of the property.

Of note are the wooden parkway street lamps that are a sure sign that master builder Robert Moses had a hand in the development.

It would be about a year after this shot was taken that the grand opening exposition was held to which this writer and his family attended.

We parked in a vast lot provided for guests and were then shuttled to the festivities (by brand new New York City TDH 5101's) which included an address by President Truman and a fascinating air show.

Built on marshland and property leased from the owners of the then defunct Idlewild Golf Course and Richmond Hill Country Club to relieve congestion at La Guardia, the airport has grown to be the 7th. largest in the country handling almost 26,000,000 passengers in 2012.

Photo courtesy of 'bk.sales' and is available at eBay as item # 270943255544.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1118
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great photo, Mr. L.....thanks for posting....
How long did that terminal serve? I recall you posting another, more substantial looking terminal in an earler thread, that I believe served until the old IAB terminal opened in the mid fifties...
Wish there was some comprehensive historical archives on JFK....more than the little bit the Port Authority offers....

As for those wooden lamposts...I recall them on all the Long Island Parkways (including the Belt). I believe they had very yellow sodium vapor bulbs, at one time. I believe there are a few left here and there.....
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Great photo, Mr. L.....thanks for posting....
How long did that terminal serve? I recall you posting another, more substantial looking terminal in an earler thread, that I believe served until the old IAB terminal opened in the mid fifties...
Wish there was some comprehensive historical archives on JFK....more than the little bit the Port Authority offers....

As for those wooden lamposts...I recall them on all the Long Island Parkways (including the Belt). I believe they had very yellow sodium vapor bulbs, at one time. I believe there are a few left here and there.....



traildriver,

Idlewild was a local airfield until it gained International status in the early 50's and was re-dubbed New York International Airport at which time the northern section or left end of the above image received a jazzy Las Vegas type facelift and temporary Custom House Quonset Huts at its rear as seen in the first and second photos below.

The third photo is that of President Truman speaking at the inauguration ceremony to which my family and I were invited by Seymour Halpern then in the New York State Senate (note the air show above proceeding as he speaks).

The fourth photo is a display of a United State Army Air Force B-36 which, at the age of ten, impressed this writer as being the largest machine he had ever seen.

The fifth image takes us back to the very beginning of the development in 1943 as we see a surveyor mapping out the course of the runways.

And finally, as Jay Leno would say, we see the bustling early terminal complete with an observation deck.

Last five images courtesy of AllPosters.com

Regards,

Mr. 'L'






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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:50 pm    Post subject: Great shots! Reply with quote

Thanks so much, Mr. 'L'!
That photo is the one I recall....I now see where its enlargement made it look entirely different.
I miss the Obs decks from the later IAB, and the LGA Central Terminal building, where I spent hours of my youth plane-spotting....

Loved the Consolidated Vultee (Convair) B-36 with its six huge radial turbo-compound pusher propeller's , and four JATO jet-assist engines.
What power that beast conveyed until the B-47, and B-52 ended its career.
There is a very dramatic scene in the classic film "Strategic Air Command", that shows the takeoff of one of the 'Peacemaker's"....
I highly recommend watching that James Stewart classic, if you haven't already seen it.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver,

I'll bet that this picture postcard brings back memories - I know it does for me!

Available at eBay through '4509bus' as item # 371024237225.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great picture! Thanks, Mr. 'L'!
I don't remember that terminal as well as the current Central Terminal, with its now closed obs. deck you entered by dropping a dime in a subway like, turnstile.
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Robert Carroll



Age: 85
Joined: 23 Feb 2013
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Location: Jamaica,Baldwin,N.Y.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:05 pm    Post subject: Idlewild. Reply with quote

The Idlewild {JFK} airport was to be the largest in the world at that time.One day in the mid 40"s I took the Q6 to the end of then line at Lombard Street.I looked west down the block and saw mounds of fill.If you looked many years later your eyes would see the TWA,now Jet Blue terminal.Has anyone fixed the location of the original arrivals treminal vs the current layout?
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Hart Bus



Age: 68
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On another airport related topic, there is an article in today's Newsday that the 12 sculptures that symbolized the Zodiac and hung at the Pam-Am Worldport building have been in storage at JFK hangar with no takers.


The article also quoted the 90 + year old sculptor about the project.

http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/kennedy-airport-statues-gather-dust-amid-push-for-restoration-1.7479662
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Idlewild. Reply with quote

Robert Carroll wrote:
The Idlewild {JFK} airport was to be the largest in the world at that time.One day in the mid 40"s I took the Q6 to the end of then line at Lombard Street.I looked west down the block and saw mounds of fill.If you looked many years later your eyes would see the TWA,now Jet Blue terminal.Has anyone fixed the location of the original arrivals treminal vs the current layout?


If you mean the International Arrivals Building...that site is now the locale of 'Terminal Four'.....

If you mean the first terminal, that Mr. 'L' posted above...I am not sure, but believe it is probably somewhere in the cargo area on the North side of the airport....
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Robert Carroll



Age: 85
Joined: 23 Feb 2013
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Location: Jamaica,Baldwin,N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: JFK Reply with quote

Thank you.
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Idlewild. Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Robert Carroll wrote:
The Idlewild {JFK} airport was to be the largest in the world at that time.One day in the mid 40"s I took the Q6 to the end of then line at Lombard Street.I looked west down the block and saw mounds of fill.If you looked many years later your eyes would see the TWA,now Jet Blue terminal.Has anyone fixed the location of the original arrivals terminal vs the current layout?


If you mean the International Arrivals Building...that site is now the locale of 'Terminal Four'.....

If you mean the first terminal, that Mr. 'L' posted above...I am not sure, but believe it is probably somewhere in the cargo area on the North side of the airport....



traildriver,

The original terminal that I posted sat almost exactly or very roughly somewhere between where the TWA 'bird' and the once Eastern Airlines glass house now sit pretty much at dead center of the property.

When I drove Green Line's Richmond Hill Circle/Airport Q10 run, we had two stops on the property with the first being the Federal Building just at the entrance off Van Wyck extension and the one terminal that you see in the GM/Green Line ad above.

Attached is a mid sixties photo showing the expansion progress - notice the Quonset Huts still in use along with the second generation control tower (upper left corner)

Photo courtesy of 'carlem' and is available at eBay as item # 380872112727.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another blast from Idlewild's past!

Taken in 1948, we see the formal inauguration of the first trans continental service from Idlewild Airport with dignitaries whom I do not recognize but certainly important to the occasion.

The plane, a double decked Boeing Stratocruiser modeled as a 377-10-29 and one of eight delivered to then American Overseas Airlines, featured round windows for the main cabin and rectangular sashes for the lower section as well as an aft galley.

American's Stratocruiser fleet was merged into Pan Am the year after their delivery.

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a large long-range airliner built after World War II and developed from the C-97 Stratofreighter, a military derivative of the B-29 Superfortress used for troop transport. The Stratocruiser's first flight was on July 8, 1947.[2]

Put into production in the late 1940s, the aircraft had four radial engines mounted in a tractor configuration. It had two decks and a pressurized cabin, a relatively new feature to transport aircraft.

The Stratocruiser was more expensive to buy and operate than the competing Douglas DC-6 or Lockheed Constellation and had a mediocre reliability record chiefly due to chronic problems with the 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major radial engines and their four-blade propellers - Only 55 of the model were built for commercial service.

Photo courtesy of 'bk.sales' and is available at eBay as item #390567416065.
Information thanks to Wikipedia.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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Robert Carroll



Age: 85
Joined: 23 Feb 2013
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Location: Jamaica,Baldwin,N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: American Overseas. Reply with quote

Flew AO,s DC6 to Oakland from LGA in 1955. It was the return leg of non-sched.North American we took for leave after finishing ET school at Treasure Island.First time on a DC6 which seemed to be a flying pencil.vs many years later flying the Lockheed Constelation which looked like it would fly without motors,the design was so perfect. Douglas,DC 3 made history for its safety and performance.Some years later I was able catch one of the few left flying out of Windsor Locks,CT. to LGA,it was a thrill.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First time I had to go to JFK was as a replacement for an ill driver. The only instructions I was given was that I was picking up a group coming in on PanAm. The other instruction was that "I think you drive into the terminal."

It really wasn't that difficult but I sure worried about screwing it up. Also I got to use our best 4106 that was usually reserved for our ace driver.
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first flight was to Detroit from LGA in 1958 on a Capital Airlines Viscount which was propelled by Rolls Royce engines which gave me a great degree of confidence when I looked out the window to see the RR logo on the engine cowl - the Viscount was a Turbo Prop similar to Lockheed's Electra.

My trip included invited visits to both the Cadillac factory in Detroit itself and Truck and Coach in Pontiac and if memory serves me I took a Great Lakes Greyhound 5105 from downtown Detroit to Pontiac.

My second airplane trip was even more interesting in 1959 when I flew from LGA to Los Angeles overnight in a TWA Super Constellation with stops in Pittsburgh, Chicago and Las Vegas (total 14 hours).

That sojourn was made even more interesting because for an additional $50 I was able to change my home bound equipment to a Boeing 707 so I guess I became a Jet Setter very early on!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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