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JFK's Iconic Terminal to Become the TWA Flight Center Hotel

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Inside the Flight Center as it stands today. Photos by Max Touhey.

It's a good day for New York City's airports. Not only did Governor Cuomo outline a massive makeover for LaGuardia Airport, but he also revealed the future of JFK Airport's iconic TWA Flight Center, the Eero Saarinen-designed masterpiece that has sat vacant for 14 years. It's been known for awhile that the terminal would one day house a hotel, but who would make that happen or what it would look like remained a mystery until today. MCR Development will turn the historic structure into The TWA Flight Center Hotel, a facility with 505 hotel rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, six to eight dining establishments, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck. In a statement, CEO Tyler Morse says the development "will celebrate and preserve" the building, "returning the landmark to its original glory and reopening it to the public. [...] Whether staying the night or simply exploring, international visitors and New Yorkers alike will be able to experience the magic of the Jet Age in this extraordinary mid-century icon."

Continue reading about the TWA Flight Center:
Fly Back and See Eero Saarinen's TWA Terminal in Its Prime
Capturing JFK's Space-Age TWA Terminal Before It's Revamped
Explore the TWA Terminal, a Pristine Time Capsule From 1962

[Rendering via MCR Development.]

A rendering shows a low rise building peeking out from behind Saarinen's swooping beauty, and a press release says that the new building will "set back from the terminal, designed to defer to the landmark," which will become the hotel's lobby. The new building and any changes to the Flight Center, which is an interior and exterior landmark, will have to be approved by go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. [UPDATE: While the LPC will have a say in the process, the project is actually not under the commission's jurisdiction since it is owned by the Port Authority, which is not bound by LPC decisions.] The developer also has a "plan to include innovative museum focusing on New York as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement."

The redevelopment is a public-private partnership between MCR Development, JetBlue, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but it will be privately funded. MCR converted the old General Theological Seminary into the High Line Hotel, so they know a thing or two about working with historic buildings.

Governor Cuomo said that officials are currently working on a masterplan for the entirety of JFK Airport, which should be unveiled within 12 months. Work on the TWA Flight Center Hotel is expected to break ground next year, and open in 2018.

And now, just for fun, some photos inside the glorious building:

Click through for dozens more photos:
· Explore the TWA Terminal, a Pristine Time Capsule From 1962 [Curbed]
· Governor Cuomo Unveils Vision For Transformative Redesign of LaGuardia Airport [official]
· Behold, the First Glimpse of a Revamped LaGuardia Airport [Curbed]