Kalev Savi has held a lifelong interest in the history and development of the commercial aviation industry from childhood. His mother joined Pan Am in 1961, and through her employee travel benefits, Kalev was fortunate enough to experience the dawn of the Jet Age first-hand during his youth.
Most of his trips to the many exotic places he visited over the years began under the futuristic Pan Am Terminal's "space age" roof, but little did he know that much of his life would be influenced by these early experiences.
During his college years, Kalev helped pay for his tuition by working summers part-time for Pan Am Reservations. His senior graduation project included a workforce planning and scheduling computer application for the Pan Am Worldport at JFK.
Through one of his many trips on Pan Am, Kalev eventually ended up in Australia, where he met his wife-to-be, got married and raised a family. While still living in Sydney in August 2010, Kalev read the announcement from Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealing the ultimate plan to demolish Terminal 3.
He might have been satisfied with the announcement had plans included the construction of a brand new terminal to replace Terminal 3, but instead plans revealed that the space taken by Terminal 3 would be flattened into a parking lot for airplanes. Deeply troubled by the announcement to demolish this historic and architecturally unique building, Kalev turned to the social networking power of Facebook and started a community page dedicated to raising awareness, and began campaigning to save this landmark from destruction.
Recently, Kalev returned to his home state of New Jersey, primarily to lobby as hard as possible to overturn the decision to demolish the historic terminal. He and his fellow community members remain committed to sensible progress at all airports, but not to turn the iconic building into a parking lot.
While Anthony did not grow up in an airline family as Kalev did, he made frequent trips to Italy to visit relatives during his youth. His first trip to Rome in the summer of 1971 was on a Pan Am 747 departing from the futuristic Pan Am terminal at JFK. While he doesn't remember much about the trip except for a few fleeting moments of the aircraft's interior, Anthony feels that this first experience left an indelible if not subconscious memory of the terminal.
Anthony took many more trips to Italy during his youth, including a trip from the equally inspiring Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center and several trips on Alitalia from the original International Building. But it wasn't until 1981 when he again arrived at the Pan Am Worldport and boarded DC-10 Clipper Celestial Empire that he really fell in love with the terminal.
All those trips to JFK and flights on so many fascinating airliners over the years cemented Anthony's love for commercial aviation and airline history, and he holds an especially close fondness for JFK.
Enthusiastic about the preservation and ongoing restoration of the TWA Flight Center, Anthony attended its first open house in October 2011. After the open house, he took a drive around Terminal City and was appalled to see the stunning I.M. Pei-designed National Airlines Sundrome, most recently used by JetBlue, had been demolished into a pile of rubble. His thoughts immediately turned to the Worldport. Was it still there? Was it still being used?
Relieved to see it was still standing and still being operated by Delta Air Lines, Anthony immediately researched plans for the terminal and was shocked to read that it too would be demolished. Continuing his research, he came upon Kalev's Save the Pan Am Worldport Facebook page. He began participating and becoming one of its biggest advocates. Seeing Anthony's enthusiasm, Kalev invited Anthony to be a part of the campaign team, and Anthony has been actively involved ever since.
Anthony is a lifelong resident of Morris County, New Jersey and also works in the Information Technology field. He is a diecast aircraft and vintage airliner book collector and hopes to one day earn his private pilot certificate.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York only ten minutes away from JFK, Lisa Turano Wojcik was exposed to every minute detail in the construction of the iconic Pan Am flying saucer terminal. That's because Lisa is the daughter of Emanuel N. Turano, one of the building's lead architects.
Lisa fondly recalls rummaging through stacks of blueprints of the terminal whenever her father brought her to his office, and even remembers visiting the construction site as the expansive flying saucer roof was being assembled.
And having learned the word "cantilever" at a very young age, Lisa went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and enjoyed a 30-year career working in the field of Civil Engineering for various private firms, as well as for the City of Fort Lauderdale, and the Fort Lauderdale Public School Board. She also taught elementary school fine art appreciation for eight years and middle school science for a brief time.
Lisa is also a writer and artist. Strongly motivated in the fight to save her father's most ambitious work, she wrote a piece for the preservation group Do.co.mo.mo-US which was published in the December 2011 eNews brief. She has also published several stories for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, wrote and illustrated a children's book, several short stories and poems, and a technical drafting manual.
Lisa currently resides with her family in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The campaign to save the historic Flying Saucer at John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 3.
Photo by Anthony Stramaglia