Once upon a time, flying was a glamorous activity. Security was a breeze to go through, cocktails flowed freely on flights, flight attendants wore chic uniforms, and those nonsmoking signs were irrelevant. This was the height of flying, the 1960s. It can be difficult to imagine a time in which a trip to the airport was enjoyable. But what if you could step back in time and see it yourself? John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City is working to make that a reality.
A Step Back in Time
As increasingly more passengers crave the nostalgia of the jet age, there’s now a place where you can step back in time to witness the aviation era at its peak. JFK is restoring its celebrated TWA center, which operated from 1930 to 2001.
TWA was once helmed by aviation expert Howard Hughes, who gave the airline a sense of elegance, complete with its signature vibrant-red decor and chic steward uniforms. Developer MCR is transforming TWA center into a trendy, retro-chic hotel.
Alas, the hotel won't open its doors until 2019—but in the meantime, TWA Lounge, on the 86th floor of the World Trade Center, is offering a sneak peek at what’s to come.
TWC headquarters opened in 1962 to wide acclaim. Created by the neo-futurist designer Eero Saarinen, the exterior was sleek and streamlined, while the interior was expansive and contemporary. The hotel and World Trade Center lounge aim to evoke the glamour of the heyday of Saarinen’s headquarters.
Once complete, the TWA building will host the largest hotel lobby in the world, eight restaurants and six bars.
The new hotel (connected to the historic Flight Center) will feature 505 guest rooms, 50,000 sq. ft. of event space, a rooftop pool and an observation deck, and a museum devoted to the ’60s.
TWA’s Hotel is dedicated to showing respect to all that TWA embodied. Vintage pieces have been donated by many former TWA flight attendants, including first-class china dining ware and Valentino steward uniforms. Currently, the lounge has ashtrays, martini glasses, and a rotary phone to enhance the vintage vibes. Walls are decked out with original David Klein Jet Age prints, commissioned by Hughes himself. TWA’s lounge oozes retro and glamour. As if things couldn’t get more vintage-chic and glamorous, a 1956 Lockheed Connie aircraft has been acquired, and will host a one-of-a-kind bar and restaurant. This will allow guests to sit in first-class seats and enjoy a martini without having to board a plane or fork over thousands of dollars for a first-class ticket.
Do You Have an Appointment?
While we wait for the TWA Hotel to open, you might want to plan ahead for a day in the lounge. Luckily for event planners, the primary role for the lounge is as a sales center and event space. It is open to the public by appointment only.
Book ahead for a slice of retro relaxation in an uptown-chic Manhattan space. And keep your eyes peeled for future announcements about the hotel’s 2019 opening.
Will you be planning your next event there? Let us know!