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TWA Hotel tops out behind Eero Saarinen’s midcentury masterpiece

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Photos by Max Touhey

That didn’t take long: Just about a year after celebrating the groundbreaking of the TWA Hotel, the developer behind the project, MCR, has announced that it’s topped out. The hotel will complement—and connect to—Eero Saarinen’s iconic 1962 TWA Flight Center. The whole shebang is on track to open in early 2019 as the TWA Hotel.

The two low-rise hotel structures are set back on either side of the midcentury terminal, and are designed to defer to the historic landmark. Saarinen’s 200,000-square-feet terminal building will serve as the hotel lobby. The structure will also connect to a restored Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft, the inside of which will be a restaurant and bar.

One open, the hotel will hold 505 guest rooms, 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and a variety of food, beverage and retail options. Hotel guests and passengers from each terminal will have easy access to the TWA Hotel via the AirTrain, as well as through the Saarinen-designed passenger tubes that connect directly to JFK’s Terminal 5.

What's more, the TWA Hotel will house a Jet Age and mid-century modern museum. It'll exhibit mid-century furniture, TWA uniforms, David Klein destination posters, inflight amenities and other TWA memorabilia. In anticipation of the 2019 opening, the developers commissioned a detailed recreation of the lounge—including a Solari flipboars—and put it on display at One World Trade Center this fall.

The team behind the hotel includes MCR; Beyer Blinder Belle, which is working as the restoration architect; and Lubrano Ciavarra, which is designing the new hotel portion of the complex. (An interior designer for the hotel has yet to be revealed.) The team has been working with 22 different government agencies to get the project off the ground.

TWA Hotel rendering
Courtesy MCR
Lounge recreation at One World Trade
Jesse David Harris

TWA Flight Center

Terminal 5, Jamaica, NY