Did You Know? New York’s JFK Airport Once Had a Giant Fountain

11 Oct


Fun fact: fun facts are awesome. Whether you’re trying to chat up a flight attendant or simply love learning something cool, we’ve got some tidbits to share. So all this week, we’ll be squeezing our mindgrapes to bring you some awesome, random travel factoids.

Fact: New York’s JFK International Airport once had a GIGANTIC fountain out in front of Terminal 4.

You may already know that JFK wasn’t always named for the former president. It was “Idlewild,” or simply, “New York International.” What you may not already know is that the old International Terminal at Idlewild (Terminal 4) was once home to a fountain that would have been like the Bellagio spectacular of the day.

Sabena, Iberia, BOAC, Alitalia, and Air France were just some of the airlines that called the International Terminal home, while arriving flights from American airlines like Pan Am and TWA would also disembark here for customs clearance. The building, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, even featured a massive Alexander Calder mobile above the bustling atrium.

Outside, a landscaped space named “International Park” wowed with the Fountain of Liberty. Rainbow lighting schemes, 916 nozzles and water jets of up to 60 feet in height were there for the entertainment of departing and arriving passengers, as well as for those who would come out to see what was new on the tarmacs—the first jetplane spotters. Have a ground-level view of the fountain right here.

It’s just a parking lot now. Sad face.



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