Chantilly, Virginia (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago, November 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy dedicated one of the most modern airports of the time, Dulles International*.
The airport, named in honor of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, was the first facility in the nation designed for commercial jets.
The airport, which is located 26 miles from downtown Washington, was the result of the Washington Airport Act of 1950, amended in 1958. Construction began on September 2, 1958.
The main terminal of Dulles, designed by Eero Saarinen**, a Finnish-American architect, is adorned with a white, concave roof which rises high on one end. The design was honored by the American Institute of Architects in 1966.
The President called the new airport "a distinct ornament of a great country and a great governmental system and said...
"This building...symbolizes the aspirations of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s".
Notables in attendance of the dedication was former President Eisenhower and members of the Dulles family.
*Dulles International Airport (IAD), located in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Virginia, services 22.6 million passengers a year. It offers 81 non-stop domestic flights and 48 non-stop international flights.
**Eero Saarinem (1910-1961) was born in Finland & grew up in Michigan. He studies at the Yale School of Architecture & became known for his neo-futuristic style. In addition to Dulles, he designed the TWA Flight Center in NYC & the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, www.metwashairports.com
Washington Dulles International Airport at Dusk