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.
Image courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle
No longer will the fate of Eero Saarinen’s architectural masterpiece sit in limbo, Crain’s reports that the iconic structure will indeed be made into a hotel, developed through a partnership between MCR Development and JetBlue. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chose the pair amongst a “field of several competitors” bidding for the job, and the decision will be formally announced at the agency’s board meeting next week. As we previously reported, the new destination will be known as the TWA Flight Center Hotel.
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.”
Photo courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle
The TWA Flight Center at what is today John F. Kennedy International airport represents both the ephemeral and the ageless; our vulnerability at the end of the “American century” and the enduring beauty of inspired modern design.
The work of mid-20th century Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the historic terminal is among the city’s most beloved architectural treasures. It first opened in 1962, a year after the architect’s death, and Saarinen posthumously received the AIA Gold Medal award for the design in 1962.
Despite its storied past and widespread reverence, since the demise of TWA and its subsequent purchase by American Airlines in 2001, the terminal’s iconic “head house” has remained eerily vacant, and its future continues to be a point of contention.