A chance glance out the window as her flight landed at New York's LaGuardia airport in 2006 led photographer Carolyn Russo to discover beauty in an unusual place—the port-holed façade of the control tower. And it ultimately led to a new exhibit at the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and a companion book celebrating airport control towers worldwide.
"(I) saw that tower and thought, 'Oh my god, this thing is gorgeous!" It really did look like Swiss Cheese," Carolyn Russo, a staff photographer and museum specialist at the Air & Space Museum, told NBC News.
Russo went on to photograph the LaGuardia tower, along with 84 other historical and contemporary towers in 23 countries. And she came to see the structures as "unsung heroes ... non-judgmental cultural greeters" and important city landmarks.