Iconic TWA Airport Terminal Gets New Life as a Hotel at JFK


The TWA terminal at JFK is a landmark of jet age travel, but will soon be converted to a hotel lobby.

The original TWA Flight Center or Trans World Flight Center opened at John F. Kennedy International Airport in 1962 as the terminal designed by Eero Saarinen. The architect for Trans World Airlines flight center at New York City’s airport — then named New York International Airport or Idlewild Airport — died the year before the building was completed.

“All the curves, all the spaces and elements right down to the shape of the signs, display boards, railings and check-in desks were to be of a matching nature. We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully-designed environment, in which each part arises from another and everything belongs to the same formal world.”

— Eero Saarinen, 1959 from Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century. p250.

Eero Saarinen also designed the Gateway Arch monument in St. Louis.

In July 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that MCR Development will turn the historic building into The TWA Flight Center Hotel, including 505 hotel rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, six to eight dining establishments, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck.

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