Pan Am Boeing 707-100 via Wikipedia
Changes are afoot at JFK International Airport; construction has already begun on the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s masterful TWA terminal, out of commission since TWA folded in 2001, into a 505-room first class hotel, and just a few months ago, Governor Cuomo announced a massive $10 billion overhaul of the whole airport, which will involve interconnecting the terminals, redesigning roads, and improving parking, amenities and security. When finished, the airport will bear little resemblance to what it once was, which has a much more interesting history than one might think. Ahead, 6sqft delves into how JFK changed from a playground for the rich to a major international airport, with some interesting debacles in between.
The whole history ahead
The excitement was palpable yesterday evening as New Yorkers packed into the SVA Theatre for a special presentation on one of the city’s most important rehabilitation projects: the redevelopment of Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA flight center into a hotel. Taking the stage were the development and architecture teams who divulged a slew of new details regarding the design, the hotel’s offer, and even the pricing of the rooms.
more details from the night’s event here
Image by Grant Wickens via flick CC
As far back as 2015, 6sqft reported that the Port Authority was considering fees for vehicles pulling up curbside to drop off or pick up passengers at New York City’s airports as a way to reduce the congestion that has worsened since services like Uber and Lyft have arrived. The city’s airports are among the only ones in the U.S. that don’t charge curbside access fees. Now the Daily News has obtained a Port Authority draft proposal outlining the proposed fees. Taxi and hired car passengers could be hit with a $4 charge for each trip in and out of Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports as early as next year. The fee would be charged to the car operators and would presumably be passed to passengers
The idea is not getting a warm reception
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a $32.2 billion, 10-year capital plan–the agency’s largest ever. The major allocations include: $3.5 billion to begin the planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal; $10 billion towards improving trans-Hudson commuting, including a $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge replacement, completion of the $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge rebuilding, and a $2 billion rehab of the George Washington Bridge; $11.6 billion in major airport upgrades, which factors in $4 billion for the new LaGuardia Terminal B, a plan to extend the PATH train from Newark Penn Station to the Newark Airport, and the beginning of Cuomo’s JFK overhaul; and $2.7 billion towards the Gateway rail tunnel project.
More details ahead
Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo unveiled his latest nine-figure infrastructure proposal, a $10 billion overhaul of JFK Airport. As 6sqft explained, the plan address three main issues: “unifying all the terminals with an interconnected layout so the airport is more easily navigable; improving road access to the airport; and expanding rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth.” This final point included a direct rail link so that passengers traveling to and from Manhattan wouldn’t need to ride the subway to connect to the AirTrain. The Regional Plan Association decided to explore this idea further, and in a report out today they’ve detailed five different approaches for a “one-seat ride” to JFK, which includes an extension of the Second Avenue Subway and a new underground tunnel.
All the possibilities right this way
“We shouldn’t settle for second best on anything,” Governor Cuomo proclaimed at the opening of the Second Avenue Subway this past weekend, and he was serious. This afternoon Cuomo announced that John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will receive a massive overhaul that will transform the dated hub into a modern, state-of-the-art facility that can finally “meet the needs of a 21st century economy.” As laid out by the governor’s office, the revamp will address three main issues: unifying all the terminals with an interconnected layout so the airport is more easily navigable; improving road access to the airport; and expanding rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth. In 2016 the airport served 60 million passengers, and this number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030 and 100 million passengers by 2050.
more details and renderings this way
The shovels were out at JFK’s TWA Flight Terminal yesterday, as MCR Development and JetBlue broke ground on their project to turn Eero Saarinen‘s mid-century modern masterpiece into the high-end, 505-room TWA Hotel. According to a press release, Governor Cuomo attended the festivities, noting that the conversion “will preserve this iconic landmark while cementing JFK’s status as a crown jewel of aviation.” The news also came with two renderings that show the two, six-story, crescent shaped hotel buildings that will rise on either side of the existing structure.
After sitting vacant at JFK Airport for 14 years as a vestige of jet-age architecture, Eero Saarinen‘s iconic 1962 TWA Flight Terminal received a new life in the summer of 2015 when it was announced that the neo-futurist structure would be reborn as a high-end hotel. MCR Development teamed up with JetBlue and the Port Authority to develop a “505-room LEED-certified hotel with restaurants, 40,000 square feet of meeting space and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck,” as 6sqft previously described. Initial reports referred to the project as the “TWA Flight Center Hotel,” but the Times now confirms that it’ll simply be the “TWA Hotel.” And with construction four months in, Curbed noticed that signage for the hotel has gone up, preserving the airline’s logo and font.
See the sign ahead
If you’re someone who takes advantage of curbside pick up/drop off at NYC’s airports as a way to avoid parking fees, that prudent sidestep could soon be coming to an end. CBS reports that the Port Authority is considering access fees as a way to reduce congestion outside airport terminals. Traffic is said to have become a real problem as services like Lyft and Uber have begun using the front of the terminals as prime spots to pick up business.
“The operations of For-Hire-Vehicles and taxis at our airports are evolving rapidly and we are in the early stages of review,” the Port Authority noted in a statement. They also added that NYC’s airports are one of the very few in the U.S. that do not charge curbside access fees, and where tolls are implemented, car services usually just pass the buck onto riders—meaning services and taxi drivers shouldn’t worry about lost fare, but you will be shelling out even more cash to make up the difference when you get in their cars.
If you’re an architectural purist who’s somehow managed to miss exploring Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece at JFK in person all these year, you won’t want to miss out on what will foreseeably be your last chance to experience the structure as it was meant to be. For one day only, the iconic building will open to the public for FREE for just four hours as part of the annual Open House New York Weekend festival.
As written in an OHNY Weekend press release, Sunday, October 18th, “is likely to be the last time the TWA Flight Center will be open to the public in its current form.” As 6sqft previously reported, the terminal will soon be redeveloped into a 505-room hotel by MCR Development and JetBlue.
FInd out more details here