BY MARK GARZON
Guests checking in at the TWA Hotel in JFK Airport next year will find themselves traveling back in time to 1962, during the height of the Jet Age. MCR Development CEO Tyler Morse recently led a tour of the ongoing restoration at the TWA Flight Center and revealed a model guest room of the new TWA Hotel.
The hotel, which is set to open in spring 2019, will be set in two low-rise buildings behind the terminal and will feature 512 guest rooms inspired by the terminal’s roots in the early days of air travel.
The TWA Flight Center, which was designed by Eero Saarinen, first opened at JFK Airport in 1962 and will serve as the centerpiece of the hotel after being closed down since 2001.
“We are putting a box around 1962 for this hotel and we’re bringing back the ethos of 1962 with everything we do here,” said Morse.
A tour of the model guest room designed by Stonehill Taylor revealed various highlights from the time period, including Knoll furnishings, brushed brass lighting, wood warm accents, a rotary phone, a Hollywood-style bathroom, and even a martini bar for guests to enjoy. According to Morse, guests will also be able to enjoy views of the terminal or flights taking off from the comfort of their room without hearing them due to the hotel’s thick glass curtain walls.
The restored TWA Flight Center will serve as the hotel’s lobby for an estimated 10,000 visitors daily, and will be accessible to all terminals via AirTrain. Guests will be able to visit rebuilt classic spaces such as the sunken lounge, Paris Café, Constellation Club, Ambassador’s Club, Lisbon Lounge, and even walk across the flight tubes that connect to JFK Terminal 5. A Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A Starliner will be repurposed for a cocktail lounge, and there will be a museum centered on the Jet Age, the mid-century design movement, and TWA.
In addition, the flight center will contain amenities such as high-end retailers, rooftop pool, observation deck, fitness center, restaurants and bars that will be accessible to the public. Morse explained the aesthetic throughout the hotel will allow visitors to appreciate and experience the excitement of air travel at the time.
“It’s a bit of stepping back in time to a magical period,” said Morse. “It was a terrific time for New York, it was a terrific time for America. Anything was possible, people were circling the Earth.”