If you flew TWA to or from New York before the airline declared bankruptcy for the third and final time, in 2001, your travel experience was elevated by a walk through one of the world’s most enduring architectural spaces.
A masterpiece of midcentury modern design, recognized as a classic by the National Register of Historic Places, the swoopily organic TWA Flight Center served as the airline’s transatlantic hub from 1962, when JFK was still known as Idlewild Airport. Its Finnish architect, Eero Saarinen, also designed the St. Louis Gateway arch and the main terminal at Washington Dulles airport.
In 2018, the building will get a second lease on life, as the 505-room TWA Hotel.
Developed by New York-based MCR Development, plans call for the addition of two new six-story hotel towers and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck, set back behind the original terminal building, which will serve as the hotel’s lobby. There will also be a new connector to the terminal of JetBlue, which has a 5 percent stake in the project.
Although repurposed, most of the structure’s original interior and exterior features will be retained, giving hotel guests a glimpse of the best of what many consider to be the Golden Age of air travel.
Sometimes, a step back is a step forward.
Reader Reality Check
Will you book a stay at the TWA Hotel?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.