This Abandoned TWA Terminal is Alive & Kicking!

Photo by Tod Seelie/Gothamist

Although it’s brethren Terminal 6 was demolished back in late-2011 (rest in peace….), this other “closed” terminal over at the same airport recently took part in an open house! As part of Open House New York, the TWA terminal at JFK Airport in New York City was open to the public, even though the Saarinen-designed terminal has not been in use 2002.  Even so, the Port Authority declared that their are future plans in store to rehabilitate and repurpose the structure, ranging from a hotel, a restaurant, or (the obviously appropriate) aviation museum.

Photo by Tod Seelie/Gothamist

Way back when, when air travel was viewed a chic and sophisticated (picture the days of Mad Men and the short-lived Pan-Am television series’), those same viewpoints were on display with ANYTHING associated with it. The TWA Terminal at JFK, designed by Eero Saarinen and opened in 1962, is quite possibly the best example of the style of that era, even thought it’s currently a shell of its former self.  The stewardesses (now called flight attendants) were stylishly dressed, the lounges at the airports were visually and aesthetically pleasing (encouraging you to spend some extra time there between transfers and flight delays), and the planes — the center of the attention in the business — were just as stylish.

Whatever the terminal ends up being repurposed to, it will be connected via passenger tubes to JetBlue’s T5.  Based on that, I think it’s safe to say that the structure’s origins will likely not be lost after that transition.


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