The last time the Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy International Airport saw a weary traveler was 2001, when the beleaguered airline ended operations and the Eero Saarinen-designed, national-landmarked flight center was closed to passenger service.
On Wednesday, those weary travelers will finally get some rest, with the terminal reopened and transformed into the lobby of the new TWA Hotel. Although attached to Terminal 5, JetBlue’s home at the airport, airplanes will no longer pull up to the terminal’s twin corridors that once led to gates at the back of the soaring building. Those passageways now lead to the hotel rooms (512 of them, starting at $249 a night).
[Read more about the renovation project.]
There is an airplane on the property though. A decommissioned TWA Lockheed Super Constellation aircraft, once used as a South American drug-transport plane, is now parked as a cocktail lounge behind the former terminal.
And for those readers wondering about all that noise from jetliners landing, taxiing and departing from J.F.K., it wasn’t that bad. The planes moving around on the active runways and taxiways sounded more muted than they normally do flying overhead. Inside, the jet engines were no more bothersome than a garbage truck you might hear outside the window of a Midtown Manhattan apartment.
Other amenities of the $265 million renovation include a rooftop infinity pool overlooking a working runway and 600 rotary phones converted for use on a digital system. And of course, the restored midcentury architecture.
“Welcome to the sexiest airport in the world,” said Tyler Morse, chief executive and managing partner of MCR and MORSE Development, which spearheaded the redevelopment.