TWA Hotel at JFK Nears Completion and Opening

The TWA Hotel's Lockheed Constellation in Times Square over the weekend

By Anna Breuer on 1 May 2019
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Attention aviation and architecture fans: The TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport is nearing completion.

Partially housed in the storied TWA Flight Center, which serves as its reception area and lobby, the hotel will open its doors to guests on May 15.

The TWA Flight Center, which was also known as the Trans World Flight Center, was designed by Eero Saarinen and welcomed passengers starting in 1962. Both the exterior and interior of the building were declared landmarks by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1994.

The neo-Futurist design features a prominent wing-shaped thin shell roof over the main terminal and tube-shaped, red-carpeted departure-arrival corridors. Its tall windows – unusual for the time period – offered travelers expansive views of airport operations.

The new hotel will have 512 rooms as well as six restaurants including the Paris Café, operated by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and eight bars, all with a 1960s feel, including the hotel’s cocktail lounge, which is housed in a 1958 Lockheed Constellation fuselage painted in a TWA livery. In addition, the hotel will have 50,000 square feet (4,645 square meters) of meeting and event space and a 10,000 square foot (929 square meter) observation deck.

Adjacent to the observation deck is a 63’ by 20’ (19.2 m x 6 m) infinity pool that has a beach entryway and in-water seating as well as a large TWA logo mosaic. The pool will be heated in winter and offers expansive views of JFK’s Runway 4L-22R. The deck also offers views of the so-called Bay Runway, Runway 13L-31R.

The Eero Saarinen-designed landmark terminal will serve as the reception area as well as the location for the restaurants and bars and travelers will be able to access Terminal 5, the terminal that replaced the TWA Flight Center, through one of the tubes that originally took TWA passengers to their gates.

Guests can use the 10,000-square-foot (929-square-meter) fitness center, designed by the aptly-named The Wright Fit, although there is no connection between that company’s founder, Jay Wright, and aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.

The hotel also has its own font, Flight Center Gothic. The font mirrors the typeface Saarinen designed for the TWA Flight Center and will be used on signage throughout the hotel.

The hotel is being built by MCR Development in partnership with JetBlue, which operates Terminal 5. The TWA name was licensed to the property by its owner, American Airlines. That airline acquired many of TWA’s assets in bankruptcy in 2001.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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