Former TWA Terminal At JFK Gets New Life As Hotel

May 15, 2019 - 12:59 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The former TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport has reopened as a hotel.

Photos: Inside The New TWA Hotel

Many of the original elements of the building have been restored to create an experience that takes travelers back in time to the 1960s.

"This is arguably the most iconic airline terminal in the world," said Richard Southwick, the director of historic preservation at Beyer, Blinder & Belle Architects.

As a result, he felt an obligation to return it to its original 1962 design.

"Every finish has been either restored, rebuilt, refurbished," Southwick said.

The white-wing Eero Saarinen-designed structure is a museum of aviation that leads to a very modern hotel.

"The TWA building was ahead of its time, and it represented New York's vision and creativity and boldness and outside-the-box thinking," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "New York has always been the state that led the nation in firsts, in reforms, in turnarounds and in troubled times. When the nation needed to find a direction forward, you could always look at New York and New York pointed the way forward. This rebirth of the TWA Hotel says we haven't lost our imagination, our boldness, our creativity, our daring - and we are still one step ahead of everyone else. If you want to know where the future's going to lead, look to the State of New York. The best is yet to be, and the TWA Hotel is a beautiful example." 

The Wall Street Journal reports the 512-room hotel will offer stays as short as four hours. 

Its goal is to have an occupancy rate of 200 percent.

The TWA Hotel features a rooftop bar with a pool, six restaurants, a 10,000 square foot state-of-the art fitness facility, and a cocktail lounge inside a refitted 1958 Lockheed Constellation -- one of four remaining in the world -- parked outside.

Susan Stevens was one of the many former TWA flight attendants, or hostesses as they were called back then, on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.

"To be able to come to work here back in the 70s I felt like I had died and gone to heaven because it was so magnificent then, but now to see it recreated is just an exhilirating feeling," Steven said.