The iconic TWA Flight Center at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport is being renovated into a new boutique hotel with designs evocative of architect Eero Saarinen’s original mid-century modern masterpiece.
The TWA terminal first opened in 1962 but has been closed since 2001, when Trans World Airlines filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by American Airlines.
The building was designated a New York City landmark in 1994 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The terminal has since remained closed to the public, though Open House New York has hosted occasional tours for a limited number of architecture lovers.
The new TWA Hotel is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will house 505 guestrooms in a new structure that will be set back from the original terminal. Plans for the new property include conference, event, and meeting space, up to eight new food and beverage outlets, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck open to the public.
The hotel project is being overseen by investment firm MCR Development, which created the High Line Hotel in New York City. In partnership with JetBlue Airways, MCR is overseeing the rehab of the historic terminal and restoring its original interiors by Charles Eames, Raymond Loewy, and Warren Platner. MCR is also overseeing construction of the new hotel building, which will include a museum dedicated to the Jet Age, the history of TWA, and Mid-Century Modern design.
To showcase its plans for the project, MCR created a TWA Lounge on the 86th floor of 1 World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan that will serve as the office for the hotel's meeting and events sales team. Travel + Leisure got a first look at the lounge, which pays homage to the grand hall of the Saarinen terminal’s sunken red lounge.