Preservation Monday—TWA Terminal NYC

This reuse project will create 3,700 new jobs!

1956 TWA Terminal To 
Become A Beautiful New Hotel

TWA Terminal_JFK Airport_NYC
Architect: Eero Saarinen_Photo credit:

I want to stay here!

The client wanted to capture the spirit of flight.  

I love everything about airports.  Their openness, and how they are designed to allow thousands of busy, excited travelers to flow through their corridors every day.  

Airports provide space for automobiles to speed in and out and to stop in the most inconvenient places.  Airports are integrally human...and mechanically efficient.  They are the perfect blend of innovation and practicality.

Airports get us to places we've never been.

TWA Flight Center corridor
Photo credit:

So, when Jet Blue decided to renovate JFK's iconic TWA Flight Center, it gave me a reason to go back to JFK airport—imho, one of the most stressful places on Earth.  The expansive curved windows designed to mimic the view of a passenger looking outside during flight are being preserved and repurposed as part of the new airport hotel.  

Windows tilting down to mimic a passenger's view
Photo credit:

The redevelopment includes plans for a museum "focusing on New York as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement."  (Repurposing an iconic local building into a museum...imagine that.)  Whenever I fly home from Vegas, I always take the long, moving walkway on the way to the C gates so that I can see the display of retro flight attendant gear, Post-Modern dinnerware and airline accessories from the airlines that have flown out of Vegas since the early 1960s.  

I love airports...and museums. 

Relaxed seating similar to Saarinen's famous Tulip Chair
Photo credit:

Finnish-American architect and industrial designer, Eero Saarinen, famous for his neofuturistic designs, died in 1961, a year before his sweeping masterpiece was completed.  We can thank Mr. Saarinen for many of America's most iconic structures, including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The new TWA Flight Center Hotel will have 505 hotel rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, six to eight new restaurants, and a 10,000 square foot observation deck.  Work is scheduled to break ground in 2016, with an opening in 2018.    

I can't wait to see it!          

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