Eero Saarinen’s Iconic JFK Terminal to Be Reborn as the ‘TWA Flight Center Hotel’

Posted On Tue, July 28, 2015 By

Posted On Tue, July 28, 2015 By In Architecture, Queens, Transportation

For the last 14 years, JFK’s most beloved structure has mostly languished vacant, reopened intermittently for public tours or to serve as the backdrop of some Jet Age fashion shoot. While there has been plenty of talk surrounding the TWA Flight Center’s transformation into a hotel, details have remained sparse until now. As Curbed has it, the city has finally revealed that MCR Development will be taking the reigns alongside JetBlue and the NYNJ Port Authority, bringing the iconic terminal back to life as a 505-room LEED-certified hotel with restaurants, 40,000 square feet of meeting space and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck. The project will aptly be called “The TWA Flight Center Hotel.”

TWA Terminal, JFK, Idlewild, Saarinen, Modern Architecture, NYC landmarks, Jet age

Trans World Airlines Terminal, JFK Airport,  Model;  photo courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Balthazar Korab Archive at the Library of CongressImages courtesy of the Library of Congress

As it stands, both the exterior and interior of the Eero Saarinen-designed beauty are landmarked and any changes will require review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. However, as MCR CEO Tyler Morse relayed in a press release yesterday, “The TWA Flight Center Hotel will celebrate and preserve Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece, returning the landmark to its original glory and reopening it to the public… international visitors and New Yorkers alike will be able to experience the magic of the Jet Age in this extraordinary mid-century icon.”

twa flight center hotel newA rendering of the updated terminal via Curbed

There will however be a new building erected just behind the terminal, likely holding the hotel and business spaces. MCR also plans to develop a museum focused on New York as the “as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement.”

The $265 million construction project is expected to break ground next year with an open date of 2018 penned in. In addition to the terminal revamp, NY officials are also currently working on a new masterplan for all of JFK. Within the next 60 days, an RFP to retain a master planning firm will be released.

You can read more on the history of this starchitectural gem here.

[Via Curbed]

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