This whole issue was a feature story on WABC Channel 7 news here in NY the other night. During the story, they showed an aerial view of what jetBlue and the Port Authority propose (by the way, the PA is on jetBlue's side with this)... the new terminal would wrap around the back of T5
in a semi-circle, with 4 linear concourses fingering off the back of the new terminal. I believe the famous "tunnels" of T5
would even still remain, connecting T5
to the new terminal.
The problem is the art preservationists demand that T5
ONLY be used as a terminal (as opposed to a conference center or shopping area, etc). This is their rationale: the structure was designed to function as a terminal, and if it is transformed into something else, then 1) if its new function becomes economically unsustainable, it is more likely to be demolished in the future, and 2) its merit is derived from not only its unique architectural elements, but also the "experiential" aspect of using it as it was intended, thus using it for something else lessens its merit.
The PA and jetBlue are saying bullpucky, and have been trying to convince the preservationists that it cannot function as a modern terminal. They both say it will NOT be torn down, and the proposed plans do show it being preserved essentially as is. As mentioned above, the FAA really has the final say in this.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.