Well this is rather interesting: Through files obtained by Gizmodo via a Freedom of Information Act (FIA) request, it has come to light that Finnish American designer and architect Eero Saarinen, of TWA Terminal fame, created weapons and other "devices" for the CIA during World War II.
Gizmodo’s Matt Novak reports that Saarinen worked with the Office of Strategic Services (the former name for the CIA) "designing models of buildings and weapons that had yet to be built. He even worked on designs for the original war room in the White House." Apparently, Saarinen came highly recommended. In one section of the files, it details that "[Saarinen] came to the Office of Strategic Services with the reputation of being the most versatile and gifted young designer and architect in this country."
As Novak points out, the files leave a lot to the unenlightened reader’s imagination, and doesn’t, for reasons that seem obvious, define what types of "devices" Saarinen busied himself with modeling. In other words, there’s a lot we don’t yet know, though the papers suggest that Saarinen ceased work for the CIA on October 12, 1945.
Novak puts it like this:
There’s clearly plenty of more work to be done investigating Saarinen’s relationship with the CIA after World War II, but that will have to wait. At this point we merely have hints of what he did after the war when it came to his old pals in the espionage business.
To read the full file, head over to Gizmodo’s Paleofuture blog.
- Iconic Architect Eero Saarinen Designed Weapons and ‘Devices’ For the CIA [Gizmodo]
- Explore the TWA Terminal, a Pristine Time Capsule From 1962 [Curbed NY]
- Inside Eero Saarinen's Renovated New Haven Tudor, One of His Last Projects [Curbed]
- All Architects coverage [Curbed]