TWA Terminal to Be Converted into a Boutique Hotel

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Trans World Airlines (TWA) terminal has been known as the airport frozen in time, and when photographer Max Touhey was granted access to the restricted landmarked building, he brought us a glimpse to the golden age of travel.

The lid has been temporarily lifted on the preserved TWA Terminal at JFK, with fascinating images by photographer Max Touhey transporting you back to what travellers would have experienced in 1962, as reported by Curbed

The John F. Kennedy’s TWA Flight Center will soon be renovated into a 500-room boutique hotel, while retaining its bold architecture that must have seemed futuristic in 1962.

Touhey captured a round capsule departures board at the TWA terminal, as reported by Curbed 

The terminal was the last project of the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, who was known for his love of curves in his unique designs.

Construction of the airport hub began  in 1956 and was completed posthumously in 1962. Upon its opening, the terminal was celebrated as one of the architectural masterpieces in the field of air travel.

“We wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully designed environment in which each part arises from another, and everything belongs to the same formal world,” Mr. Saarinen had stated about his philosophy behind its design.

The terminal design reflects a bird's spread wings mid flight in reflection of the TWA company's directive, which they stated was to 'capture the spirit of flight' as captured by Max Touhey for Curbed 

TWA continued in operation until the airline suffered a great financial depression, which resulted to its shutdown in October of 2001.

The flight centre was the last project of architect Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American designer known for his love of curves. The photograph, by Max Touhey, first appeared in Curbed

After its bankruptcy, American Airlines bought the terminal in 2001.
Plans for the hotel are well underway, with a team preparing a digital 3D model of the airport having taken extensive measurements in June. Photograph courtesy of Max Touhey and Curbed

The architecture of the building reflected the TWA company’s directive, which was ‘capture the spirit of flight,’ with its design patterned after a bird’s expanded wings during its flight.

 

 

Golden Age: Architect Eero Saarinen said he 'wanted passengers passing through the building to experience a fully-designed environment

Currently, plans for the transformation are well underway, with a team preparing to conduct an extensive measurements for printing of a digital 3-D model of the terminal.

End of an era: The terminal was built for TWA but the airline went bankrupt and was purchased by American Airlines in 2001

In the past few years, the flight center underwent a major renovation with a $20 million budget to open its doors back in 2012 for public viewing of the once architectural jewel.

After a $20 million renovation project, the building maintained its ambiance of the sixties, including this retro bar 

After the renovation project, the building has maintained its 60s ambiance including this retro bar.

Times gone by: Construction on the airport hub lasted six years, beginning in 1956, and upon completion it was celebrated as an architectural masterpiece

The flight centre was the last project of architect Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American designer known for his love of curves, and was completed posthumously in 1962, for the now defunct Trans World Airlines (TWA)

Other architectural gems of Saarinen include the main terminal of Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the CBS headquarters in New York, on 52nd Street at Sixth Avenue, and the The Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York.

 

 

In recent years the building underwent a $20 million renovation and opened its doors to design buffs, eager for a peek at the architectural jewel, for just a weekend in 2012

Saarinen also designed the main terminal of Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the CBS headquarters in New York, on 52nd Street at Sixth Avenue, and the The Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York

 

Watch the exclusive video featuring the interior of the TWA Flight Center below.


High-flying: Airline hostesses for TWA are pictured welcoming people aboard a flight back in 1966
Looking back, this picture shows the airline hostesses for TWA welcoming people aboard a 1966 flight.

Flashback: Two first class seats aboard a TWA jet from London to Washington in the 1960s. One occupied by a caesium beam timepiece accurate to one-millioneth of a second used in the USA's space programme. This clock was being returned to America from South Africa and as it must not be allowed to stop it is connected to a power point in the aircraft during the flight. The other seat is occupied by one of the clock's escorts

The airline had its share in the important undertakings in the government, such as this caesium beam timepiece, which is accurate to one-millionth of a second. This US space program clock was traveling back in America from its journey in South Africa, and it must continue to run for the entire duration of the flight to keep its accuracy.  To do this, they had to connect the clock into a power source in the craft.

Pat Till Twa Air Hostess Who Was Voted Miss Heathrow Airport 1964 With 2nd Place (left) Christine Longthorp, 20, and Linda Stafford, 21

 

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