His­toric JFK ter­mi­nal gets new life as ho­tel

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Insight - BY VER­ENA DOBNIK

The fa­mous winged TWA ter­mi­nal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Air­port came out of its decades-long re­tire­ment Wed­nes­day with a new life as a lux­ury ho­tel.

Gov. An­drew Cuomo was on hand for a rib­bon­cut­ting cer­e­mony open­ing the $268 mil­lion pro­ject.

He said he re­mem­bers see­ing the ter­mi­nal as a boy in Queens “and say­ing, ‘Wow! Wow! It was ahead of its time and it was New York’s vi­sion and cre­ativ­ity and bold­ness, and out­side of the box think­ing that made New York, New York.’ ”

Fin­nish ar­chi­tect Eero Saari­nen didn’t have a ho­tel in mind when he de­signed the fu­tur­is­tic struc­ture that opened in 1962.

Those were the heady jet-age days of the first space flights and Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy’s prom­ise of a moon land­ing.

De­vel­oper Tyler Morse hopes the prox­im­ity of the ho­tel to the tar­mac will draw trav­el­ers who don’t want to fight night­mar­ish city traf­fic to catch their flights.

Be­yond to­day’s prac­ti­cal con­cerns lies a half-cen­tury-old dream.

“This TWA Flight Cen­ter was built as a cathe­dral to avi­a­tion,” Morse said.

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