Iconic JFK T5 To Be Renovated As Part Of Hotel

submitted by Pellegrine

http://photos.cntraveler.com/2014/07/31/53da51fadcd5888e145ada5d_twa-terminal-nyc-architecture-trends.jpg

The incredibly beautiful Eero Saarinen designed TWA Flight Center a.k.a. JFK T5, will be renovated as part of a 505-room hotel, meeting space, dining, museum, and observation complex to open in 2019! This is very good news for those of us that are architecture enthusiasts in addition to being aviation enthusiasts.

The plans include a 10,000 square foot observation deck. I really hope this makes the final design for us aviation nuts.

A hotel group named MCR Development and JetBlue are investing $265 million in the project. It is scheduled to break ground in 2016.

http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/20...ly-get-a-design-hotel-twa-terminal http://qz.com/509643/this-abandoned-...ort-will-reopen-as-a-luxury-hotel/

all comments

1. CARST

Wow, great news. A viewing deck at JFK? Amazing!

Another reason for weekend-trips/mileage-runs over the Atlantic.     

2. Moose135

Next Sunday, October 18, you will have the opportunity to tour the terminal as part of the Open House New York program:

http://www.ohny.org/site-programs/weekend/sites/twa-flight-center-0

I went through it a few years ago, it's still amazing inside:

http://www.moose135photography.com/Airplanes/TWA-Flight-Center/

3. thegoldenargosy

It's amazing that T5 will have sat empty for almost 20 years by the time this project is over.

4. GSPSPOT

As one who has mourned the loss of observation decks at domestic U.S. airports for decades, I cannot wait!

5. AirlineCritic

Is there a picture of the 6-storey hotel buildings somewhere? Can't seem to find a picture of the finished setup anywhere...

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 4):

As one who has mourned the loss of observation decks at domestic U.S. airports for decades, I cannot wait!

Just wait until someone invents the next movie plot threat and prohibits letting people look at airplanes... sadly.

6. Abeam79

Delta must be pulling the hair out of their heads given B6 turf is getting a nice amenity added. JFK is a highly lucrative peice of real estate in north america. I keep hearing rumors of longer haul flights out of jfk with A321neoLR for B6. It seems they are laying the ground work to be a nice alternative for international flying out of nyc. The new T5i is by far the best customs experience in any nyc airport.

7. Polot

I'd wait to see where this 10,000 sqft observation deck is before calling it an observation deck versus outdoor space/lounge.

8. alfa164

Quoting Abeam79 (Reply 6):

Delta must be pulling the hair out of their heads given B6 turf is getting a nice amenity added

After Delta destroyed T3 - another icon of the "golden age" of air travel at JFK - I have no sympathy. JetBlue did the right thing (albeit possibly kicking and screaming at the time) and they will be reaping their rewards at JFK for a long, long time.

9. Polot

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 8):

It's not that B6 "did the right thing", it's that they had no choice. T5 is protected. T3 was not. Even then the building will have been empty for almost 20 years (assuming these plans don't end up falling through).

10. alfa164

Quoting Polot (Reply 9):

It's not that B6 "did the right thing", it's that they had no choice. T5 is protected. T3 was not

That is why I mentioned JetBlue did it "kicking and screaming" at the time. In Delta's case, their management sent to bulldozers is as fast as they could, denying the emerging efforts at protect T3 with landmark status. (There is a special place in hell for those who made that decision.)

In the end, I am sure JetBlue will benefit greatly from having the adjacent facility.

11. stburke

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 10):

That is why I mentioned JetBlue did it "kicking and screaming" at the time. In Delta's case, their management sent to bulldozers is as fast as they could, denying the emerging efforts at protect T3 with landmark status. (There is a special place in hell for those who made that decision.)

Yeah, but now there's a shake shack.

How close was T3 to being to gaining some sort of protected status?

12. mysterzip

I'm interested to see how they will be changing the interior, assuming there are no changes to the exterior.

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 2):

Did this a couple of years back. Loved it and will do it again. I think they also are opeming up the Marine Air Terminal. I wasn't aware it closed to the public.

13. thegoldenargosy

Quoting stburke (Reply 11):

How close was T3 to being to gaining some sort of protected status?

The 1970's addition was the reason why it wasn't protected. There were too many changes to the original design.

14. alfa164

Quoting mysterzip (Reply 12):

I think they also are opeming up the Marine Air Terminal. I wasn't aware it closed to the public.

The MAT is still in use. Maybe they are allowing non-ticketed visitors into what would normally be a secure area.

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 13):

The 1970's addition was the reason why it wasn't protected. There were too many changes to the original design.

Efforts to protect only the original, iconic "saucer" had begun, but the rush to demolish it before that became possible means the buildinhg is gone.

15. Lesfalls

Just can wait!

Any renderings by chance?

16. jpetekyxmd80

Sorry if you love T3 or T6, but the T5 building is the only one that made any sort of sense to preserve.

17. wjcandee

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 16):

Sorry if you love T3 or T6, but the T5 building is the only one that made any sort of sense to preserve.

I would have to agree, and the building isn't structurally in terrible shape.

I had the pleasure of spending several hours touring T5 with a TWA pal pre-9/11, while it was operating, meeting a lot of the folks who worked there. It is an amazing building, and the TWA folks respected the hell out of it and did what they could to make it work for them in a changed age of aviation while preserving its beauty and original functionality.

I was a committed TWA flier, so had passed through it a lot, but the insider's tour was a very special day for me.

18. airliner371

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 8):

After Delta destroyed T3 - another icon of the "golden age" of air travel at JFK - I have no sympathy. JetBlue did the right thing (albeit possibly kicking and screaming at the time) and they will be reaping their rewards at JFK for a long, long time.

  

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 10):

(There is a special place in hell for those who made that decision.)

I think that's a bit excessive...

19. DocLightning

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 8):

After Delta destroyed T3 - another icon of the "golden age" of air travel at JFK - I have no sympathy.

Sorry, had you been in that building? It was decrepit. It was anachronistic. It was downright UGLY.

Sorry, but it's a slap in Saarinen's face to compare the Worldport to the TWA terminal. Saarinen's building is a timeless masterpiece of architecture. Worldport was a dated mess from a time gone past.

20. JETSTAR

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 14):

The MAT is still in use. Maybe they are allowing non-ticketed visitors into what would normally be a secure area.

There is actuality 2 Marine Air Terminals at LGA, the one that Delta uses for their shuttles is a separate building built in the early 1980’s after deregulation adjoining the original Marine Air Terminal. The art deco round building was the home of PanAm’s flying boats transatlantic service in the 1930’s and this terminal is the one that is landmarked, not the Delta terminal.

It was recently restored back to almost its original configuration and today houses the LGA operations of SheltAir, who services general aviation aircraft who land at LGA. The rotunda portion of the terminal, which housed the check in areas back in the PanAm days is open to the public and it is a step back time. In the 1960’s the terminal was used by non scheduled airlines like American Flyers and Capitol flying DC-6’s and Lockheed Constellations and who eventually were put out of business by the FAA.

You do not need a ticket to enter the MAT, the entrance is separate from the Delta Terminal, known as Terminal A and there is no security to worry about . The entrance is to the left of Terminal A and anyone who has some extra time if they are flying out TA should go in and check it out, the circular mural above the check in gates was restored as well and is a flash back to the olden days of passenger travel.

I was in the terminal 2 years ago when I had some extra time to check out the restoration

JetStar

21. alfa164

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):

Sorry, had you been in that building? It was decrepit. It was anachronistic. It was downright UGLY. Sorry, but it's a slap in Saarinen's face to compare the Worldport to the TWA terminal.

The Worldport - and that was the 70's addition that looked more like a trailer park than an airline terminal - was an ugly mess; nobody ever proposed saving that.

The original "saucer" was an iconic symbol, and could have been perfectly (and beautifully) functional for many uses. That was the building that was deserving of preservation.

22. wjcandee

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 8):

After Delta destroyed T3 - another icon of the "golden age" of air travel at JFK - I have no sympathy. JetBlue did the right thing (albeit possibly kicking and screaming at the time) and they will be reaping their rewards at JFK for a long, long time.

We could restart the whole debate, which I don't want to do, but my own feeling is that T3 was a building (like those Towers at the World's Fair that were flying saucers in Men In Black) that was not really built to last as long as it was used. It was an icon of a past airline, and maybe could have been something other than a terminal, but it sucked as a terminal and Delta needed something else if they were going to serve people who weren't aviation geeks at JFK. T5 was originally going to be the entrance point for the jetblue terminal, with people walking up the old connectors, but someone had the good sense to put good functionality of the new building above sentiment. Now, T5 will be repurposed into something that can preserve its appearance and can honor its heritage, without it being a choke point for travelers.

23. Pellegrine

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 5):

The 2nd image in the Quartz link shows a rendering (albeit from a low angle) with the "towers" to either side of T5. Very unintrusive and I find complimentary actually.

24. Pellegrine

Quoting Polot (Reply 7):

I tend to agree, and bet it would be one of the first things to go if the project is over-budget.

Observation decks aren't traditionally revenue generators, unless they are perched on top of skyscrapers.

Maybe it could be a nifty combination indoor-outdoor bar/lounge/ viewing deck replete with flowers, shrubbery, and small trees. Green space is always lacking at airports.

25. jeffh747

I flew through the old T3/Worldport a few years ago and it was not nearly as disgusting or awful or decrepit as some users on here think, using their "eyes" (or lack thereof in this case). Sure it was chipping away in some places, but that was to Delta's not maintaining it and letting it deteriorate over the years since they took it over. Other than that, and a few other cracks, it was a fully functional terminal and was a pleasure to fly through. The people who made the decision to bulldoze it, while I disagree, I understand they're running an airline business and not a museum. I just wish they had put another terminal in it's place instead of that T4X disaster and turning it into a parking lot.

26. jfklganyc

Quoting jeffh747 (Reply 25):

I flew through the old T3/Worldport a few years ago and it was not nearly as disgusting or awful or decrepit as some users on here think, using their "eyes" (or lack thereof in this case). Sure it was chipping away in some places, but that was to Delta's not maintaining it and letting it deteriorate over the years since they took it over.

100% agree. That rotunda was a classic piece of aviation. Totally useful if they gutted the inside and rebuilt. Huge space. There's your 10 RJ gates if you wanted it.

I don't fault DL though. It wasn't protected and they didn't want it. PANYNJ didn't want it. So why keep it. It needed $$ and TLC.

27. wjcandee

Quoting jeffh747 (Reply 25):

Sure it was chipping away in some places, but that was to Delta's not maintaining it and letting it deteriorate over the years since they took it over.

I wouldn't be too hard on Delta; the thing was a money pit, and they did a buttload of work trying to keep it from leaking on their passengers and seal out the birds that constantly-populated it.

28. alfa164

Quoting jeffh747 (Reply 25):

I just wish they had put another terminal in it's place instead of that T4X disaster and turning it into a parking lot.

  

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 26):

100% agree. That rotunda was a classic piece of aviation. Totally useful if they gutted the inside and rebuilt. Huge space.

      I felt that the rotunda would have been a fantastic terminal for Transcontinental and LHR-bound flights. Those were the destinations where DL was trying to create a "premium" image at the time.

29. PGNCS

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 8):After Delta destroyed T3 - another icon of the "golden age" of air travel at JFK - I have no sympathy.

Sorry, had you been in that building? It was decrepit. It was anachronistic. It was downright UGLY.

Sorry, but it's a slap in Saarinen's face to compare the Worldport to the TWA terminal. Saarinen's building is a timeless masterpiece of architecture. Worldport was a dated mess from a time gone past.

THANK YOU DOC!

T3 was a hideous, unfunctional, dilapidated atrocity. I would have loved to have personally participated in assisting it its erasure as a blemish from the face of the earth.

Saarinen's T5, on the other hand, is graceful and timeless. Though certainly not what would be designed from scratch, it is in no way comparable to the blight that was the Worldpit.

30. spacecadet

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 27):

I wouldn't be too hard on Delta; the thing was a money pit, and they did a buttload of work trying to keep it from leaking on their passengers and seal out the birds that constantly-populated it.

It was literally falling apart. Delta had hung nets and tarps all over the ceiling to catch both the leaking water and protect passengers from falling concrete. (You could see pieces of the ceiling that had been caught in the nets.) The place was actually not safe. I would constantly be looking up as I was walking through to make sure I wasn't going to be hit by something Delta had neglected to put up a net to catch.

T5 today, even 14 years after it was last occupied, is in better shape than T3 was a couple of years ago.

31. DocLightning

Quoting alfa164 (Reply 21):

The original "saucer" was an iconic symbol, and could have been perfectly (and beautifully) functional for many uses. That was the building that was deserving of preservation.

It was a modernist cylinder with a big disk on the top. It was something for its time, but only for its time. Saarinen's work remains timeless in its beauty.