One of the most famous airport terminals in the world is about to become a swanky hotel

The TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York.

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The TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York.
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Max Touhey

The Trans World Airlines Flight Center at JFK International Airport is one of the most famous terminals buildings in the world. With its instantly recognizable lines, the Eero Saarinen designed building has been a New York landmark since 1962.

However, with TWA’s demise in 2001, the terminal has sat abandoned for the past decade and a half. Now, the iconic structure is getting a new lease on life as an airport hotel. MCR Development, the hotel investment firm behind the terminal’s revival, plans to restore the build to its original state while adding a 505-room hotel.

“The passion for this incredible building and the outpouring of support for our plan to preserve Saarinen’s masterpiece and permanently reopen it to the public as a 500-room hotel has been astounding,” MCR Development CEO Tyler Morse said in a statement.

The TWA Hotel project has the support of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“The conversion of the TWA Flight Center into a new state-of-the-art hotel will preserve this iconic landmark while cementing JFK’s status as a crown jewel of aviation,” The Governor said during the hotel’s groundbreaking last year.

According to MCR, the project is privately funded with no government subsidies.

The hotel is slated to open in 2019. Here’s a closer look at the building, and some renderings of what it’ll look like once the hotel is built:


The TWA Flight Center is an icon that harkens back to the golden age flight.

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Max Touhey

The neo-futurist design of the building conveys the image of a soaring bird.

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Max Touhey

The TWA Terminal is famous for its funky architectural elements and…

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Max Touhey

… It’s bright red carpeting and seats.

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Max Touhey

The building’s unique architecture is the brainchild of Eero Saarinen, the world-famous designer whose other works include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Bell Labs building in New Jersey.

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Max Touhey

While interesting to look at, the building was operationally obsolete almost immediately after it opened in 1962. For instance, its parking bays were too narrow to handle multiple widebody jets side-by-side.

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Max Touhey

However, the build did feature quite a few innovative features like baggage carousels, covered jet bridges, and the clustering of gates away from the main terminal. All are common in terminals today, but brand new in 1962.

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Max Touhey

Source: New York Times


Since 2001, the building has remained abandoned. Its boarding gates have been torn down.

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Max Touhey

In fact, the TWA terminal now sits in front of JFK Airport’s new Terminal 5, home of JetBlue.

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Max Touhey

Now, MCR is redeveloping the site with the addition of two hotel towers and a total of 505 guest rooms.

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An artist’s rendering of the TWA Hotel.
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MCR

In addition, the facility will have a 50,000 square foot event space, 6-8 dining establishments, and a 10,000 square foot observation deck. There are also rumors of a rooftop pool.

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An artist’s rendering of the TWA Hotel.
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MCR

The restored facility will also have a museum dedicated to TWA and the history of flight.

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An artist’s rendering of the TWA Hotel.
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MCR

The TWA Hotel is expected to open in early 2019.

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Max Touhey