The Trans World Airlines Flight Center at JFK International Airport is one of the most famous terminals buildings in the world. With its instantly recognisable lines, the Eero Saarinen designed building has been a New York landmark since 1962.
However, with TWA’s demise in 2001, the terminal has sat abandoned for the past decade and a half. Now, the iconic structure is getting a new lease on life as an airport hotel. MCR Development, the hotel investment firm behind the terminal’s revival, plans to restore the build to its original state while adding a 505-room hotel.
“The passion for this incredible building and the outpouring of support for our plan to preserve Saarinen’s masterpiece and permanently reopen it to the public as a 500-room hotel has been astounding,” MCR Development CEO Tyler Morse said in a statement.
The TWA Hotel project has the support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The conversion of the TWA Flight Center into a new state-of-the-art hotel will preserve this iconic landmark while cementing JFK’s status as a crown jewel of aviation,” The Governor said during the hotel’s groundbreaking last year.
According to MCR, the project is privately funded with no government subsidies.
The hotel is slated to open in 2019. Here’s a closer look at the building, and some renderings of what it will look like once the hotel is built:
The building's unique architecture is the brainchild of Eero Saarinen, the world-famous designer whose other works include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Bell Labs building in New Jersey.
While interesting to look at, the building was operationally obsolete almost immediately after it opened in 1962. For instance, its parking bays were too narrow to handle multiple widebody jets side-by-side.
However, the build did feature quite a few innovative features like baggage carousels, covered jet bridges, and the clustering of gates away from the main terminal. All are common in terminals today, but brand new in 1962.
Now, MCR is redeveloping the site with the addition of two hotel towers and a total of 505 guest rooms.
In addition, the facility will have a 50,000 square foot event space, 6-8 dining establishments, and a 10,000 square foot observation deck. There are also rumours of a rooftop pool.
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