Well this could be interesting? Seems that the Port Authority has finally come up with something to do with the much beloved Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal 5 at JFK. And that something is...a boutique hotel.
When JetBlue took over Terminal 5 they built their new terminal around the Saarinen original in the hopes of one day using it as a grand entrance. But that plan fell through (the old girl just can't handle modern amenities like curbside check-in and all those pat-downs), leaving the modernist icon empty. In 2008 the Port Authority decided to do something with the empty shell on its hands and spent $20 million to restore the interior and remove asbestos to better appeal to developers. But still the terminal sat empty.
So now the Authority has sent out a request for qualifications last week in hope of finding a developer to turn the space into "perhaps the hippest, coolest-looking front office to a boutique hotel that serves a very special and unique air traveling market."
The idea would be to turn the terminal into a lobby and build a small (150-room) hotel in the space between the TWA and JetBlue terminals (because of aviation guidelines it wouldn't be able to go very tall). The Port Authority hopes that whoever gets the space will be able to have it up and running two years after a contract is signed.
On the one hand, we like the idea of the terminal being used for something, anything. But on the other hand... an airport hotel? While it would easily beat out the alternatives, we're not sure that even soaring modernist masterpieces can make sleeping next to a runway sexy.