JFK’s Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center is one of NYC’s most iconic structures, but has sat empty and unused on the grounds of the airport for the past 14 years. Now all of that is about to change with the announcement that MCR Development will revamp the famous architect’s building into a lavish hotel and convention center and open it back up to the public. According to Governor Cuomo, who delivered the good news this week at a luncheon in Manhattan, the project will seek LEED certification and include a 505-room hotel, a museum dedicated to the Jet Age and 40,000 square feet of conference space. The renovation will aim for a “complete rehabilitation of the national landmark to its 1962 glory,” according to an MCR press release.
Although much of the project involves restoring Saarinen’s masterpiece, some new construction will occur on the site as well. The single rendering released by MCR Development (shown above) backs up a written statement which promises that new buildings will be “set back from the terminal, designed to defer to the landmark.” Because the terminal is listed in the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, all changes to the building (including new structures) will have to gain Landmarks Preservation Commission approval.
The redevelopment is a public-private partnership between MCR Development, JetBlue, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but will be privately funded. This project adds to MCR’s roster of 89 hotels in 23 states, including the adaptive re-use project of The High Line Hotel in Manhattan.
TWA Flight Center Hotel is expected to break ground next year, and open in 2018. The terminal has been closed since 2001, when modern aircraft grew too big for the space. This project will transform the terminal into a space the public can use and enjoy for generations to come.
Rendering via MCR Development, additional photos via Max Touhey