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.
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.
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.
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.
- Brazil’s top hotelier is looking to make his mark on 57th Street. Billionaire Rogerio Fasano is in talks to have starchitect Rafael Vinoly design the building. [NYDN]
- It ain’t easy being green: Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo, and her Colombian billionaire beer heir husband, have neighbors up in arms over the noise they’re making trying to dig a geothermal well beneath their Gramercy townhouse. [DNA Info]
- The plan to green a downtrodden triangle flanked by Chambers, West Broadway and Reade Street was revealed last night. [Tribeca Citizen]
- As previously predicted, with new units on the market, Brooklyn’s 14-month streak of rising rental prices ended in August. [TRD]
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is ready to take new for proposals from developers, hotel investors or others interested in converting the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal at JFK into an airport hotel. [WSJ]
TWA Terminal (left); Bogardus Park in Tribeca (right)