TWA Hotel is a hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, United States, that opened on May 15, 2019. It utilizes the headhouse of the TWA Flight Center airline terminal, designed in 1962 by the architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA Hotel project added two buildings on either side of the existing headhouse.
TWA Hotel building with Constellation Starliner aircraft, in 2019
|Town or city||New York City|
|Groundbreaking||December 15, 2016|
|Opened||May 15, 2019|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Beyer Blinder Belle/Lubrano Ciavarra Architects|
|Other designers||Stonehill Taylor (hotel rooms)|
INC Architecture and Design (basement event space)
|Number of rooms||512|
|Number of restaurants||6|
In 1994, the terminal was declared a city landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which prevented its demolition. In 2005, the National Park Service listed it on the National Register of Historic Places. The boarding gates were demolished following the construction of Terminal 5, which is occupied by JetBlue Airways. In April 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that JetBlue and its partner, a hotel developer, were negotiating for the rights to turn the head house into a hotel. In July 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the Saarinen building would be converted into a new on-site hotel for the airport's passengers.
Groundbreaking took place on December 15, 2016, in a ceremony attended by Governor Cuomo, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and former employees of Trans World Airlines. A topping out ceremony for the hotel's first tower was held in December 2017, followed by the topping out of the second tower in March 2018. The next month, a model hotel room built inside a JFK Airport hangar was shown to the press.
That October, a Lockheed Constellation L-1649 Starliner was shipped to the hotel site for conversion into a cocktail bar. The Starliner arrived at the hotel site at the end of November 2018. In March it was displayed in Times Square.
Morse Development developed the site along with MCR, which operates middle-to-budget hotels in the United States. It is the only hotel operating within the boundaries of JFK Airport. Beyer Blinder Belle is the architectural firm responsible for renovating the terminal, while Lubrano Ciavarra Architects is the firm designing the two new buildings. Stonehill Taylor designed the hotel rooms, and INC Architecture and Design designed the underground event space with 45 meeting rooms and a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) meeting hall.
The two buildings contain a total of 512 rooms between them, as well as conference space, six to eight restaurants, and an aviation history museum. There is a rooftop infinity swimming pool and an observation deck with 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of floor space. The developers have a 75-year lease with the state. Many of the TWA Flight Center's original details, such as the custom ceramic floor tiles and the 486 variously-shaped window panels, were replaced with replicas of the originals. These details were intended to give the hotel a 1960s-era vibe, and include brass lighting, walnut-accented furnishings, and rotary phones. The hallways contain red carpeting, evocative of the color of the furniture in the original TWA lounge. However, the rooms also contain modern amenities such as blackout curtains and multiple-pane soundproof windows. The large departure board, a split-flap display made in Italy by Solari di Udine and which has been a feature of the building since the Flight Center's opening in 1962, was fully restored as part of the hotel project. The TWA Hotel also includes a cocktail lounge installed inside a preserved Lockheed L-1649 Starliner, the last model of the Lockheed Constellation line of airliners; the lounge is nicknamed "Connie". The hotel includes the Paris Café, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, as well.
In the September 2-9, 2019, issue of Time, the hotel made the magazine's list of "The Worlds Greatest Places of 2019". The hotel was featured as the cover story in Interior Design magazine's September 2019 issue.
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- Giovannini, Joseph (September 19, 2019). "Beyer Blinder Belle, INC, Lubrano Ciavarra, and Stonehill Taylor Propel Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center into a 21st-Century Hotel". Interior Design. Retrieved October 3, 2019.