Originally called Idlewild Airport, it was renamed JFK Airport in 1963, after the President’s assassination.
This workman-like, competent but hardly spectacular cutaway illustration by Sloane shows the 11-story so-called “supertower” that allowed air traffic controllers in the early Fifties to track and guide up to 1,000 aircraft a day (real capacity was likely much less).
At the time, Idlewild was nine times larger than its sister airport, La Guardia. It became so difficult for controllers to maintain control of air traffic at the massive 4,900 acre Idlewild that sometimes, Popular Science reports, a jeep with a tw0-way radio would be sent out to the runways to communicate with controllers at the old tower.
Source: Popular Science, June 1952