"I miss the PanAm Building.
Atop Murray Hill early this morning, I found myself profoundly missing the Pan Am Building. Well, I don’t miss the building per se since it still stands with MetLife emblazoned at its top. When it was graced with “Pan Am” at its sleek international style crown and the Pan Am globe logo festooned atop its tapered sides, 200 Park Avenue seemed…romantic.
When I looked up at the Pan Am Building, I was inspired to look outward, to travel to Dubrovnik, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bangkok and everywhere else that airline’s planes landed. Moreover, I looked forward to seeing the travelers from all those places right here in New York City.
More than figurative, romance inspired by Pan Am was real. On a solo flight from Madrid to New York in the airline’s waning heyday, I caught the eye of not one but two flight attendants, one female and the other male. Although I was seated in the 747’s coach cabin, the two attendants plied me with flutes of champagne from the forward cabins throughout the flight. Who wouldn’t love being the object of that game? Within days of landing, a brief but memorable affair ensued with one of the two.
Finance rules NYC more than ever now, as the MetLife Building reminds us. While finance business is global, there is little romantic in being plied with actuarial life tables or credit default swap terms. Then again, perhaps I am lacking in imagination as money is quite romantic for some.
So, yeah, I miss the Pan Am Building although not for the “Mad Men” period in which it rose – I would be just another invisible man in that world. No, I miss the Pan Am building for what it inspired us to be – outward looking and accepting. That loss in the shelter-in-place moment in which we find ourselves seems even greater now."
Shared with permission, thegverse@Instagram, Glenn Davis.
"One bright day I got home from the machine shop and there was a penny post card from aviation school saying I could have a job with Pan American Airways (PAA), provided I could pass the physical. I started on May 5, 1941 in the sheet metal shop; and the first job on aircraft was to drill a stop hole in a little crack in the forward bulkhead of the Sikorsky S-42. Boy, did I fall in love with the PAA aircraft."
He certainly did. Henry "Hank" Anholzer stayed with Pan American World Airways forty-one years. His retirement plaque is home here at the museum.
1979: Pan American World Airways' employees Mr Hank Anholzer and Mr Emil Feroldi, pictured along with another volunteer, working on restoring aircraft at a newly formed air and space museum on Long Island, New York. Pan Am also donated the paint and tools used.
Pictured today, that same aircraft, flying above, in a hangar at that same, bigger and bolder Cradle of Aviation Museum. It's our home too -- third floor wing visit Pan Am Museum Foundation, Inc.