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TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 6:40 am

Hi folks, whats going to happen with the former TWA Terminal (T5 ?) at JFK?
As far as i know its deserted... BR Chris
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 6:46 am

This has been discussed on here many times before, but to recap, jetBlue wants to build a new terminal behind it (a crescent shape with 4 finger concourses), and both jetBlue and the Port Authority want to connect the TWA terminal to the new terminal, but the TWA terminal area would only be used for shops/museum, etc. (the former TWA gate areas would be eliminated - the famous tubes leading to the gates would probably stay). Preservationists are trying to block this idea, as they want the terminal only to be used as it was intended. The PA and jetBlue say this is impossible. So, it's still in limbo, but the bottom line is it can't and won't be demolished.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 7:17 am

Of course, if jetBlue becomes the target of a frenzy of lawsuits, the entire future of the Terminal 5 reconstruction is thrown into the air. BTW to my knowledge, jetBlue did want to remove the famous connector tubes, as apparently jetBlue considered that they could not accomodate their passenger volume...

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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:15 am

Only the terminal building has landmark protection, the tubes and gate concourses are not protected and can be torn down if necessary.

The terminal does not meet today's accessible standards and would need major work to bring it into compliance and also up to current building codes which the preservationists do not want done.

If necessary, they can build around the terminal and keep the building closed up.

While the law prevents the terminal from being torn down, it does not require the Port Authority to spend money to keep it from decaying. So it is my guess that unless the building can be used for shops and a museum to pay for its upkeep, the PA would just let it rot away.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:34 am

It would be very sad if the PA simply allows that terminal to just rot. I remember flying on a chartered TW 707 to Prestwick over 25 years ago.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:24 am

I sure the hell miss it! I flew there in 2000 on Sun Country twice. I could'nt believe how awesome the terminal was! It made my flights into JFK the most memorable flights of my life. I liked the huge board with flights, the long navy blue checkin counters, the Paris Cafe and museum area upstairs. I remember walking down those long walkways to security, and into the 70's styled terminal. The carpet was all red, and it just looked 'TWA.' It was cool seeing all those TWA heavies ready to make international departures at night, and now, it'll never be again...

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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:01 pm

Thank you TWFirst for explaining the situation, Im getting tired of answering this question every month.

Just to add..

The "plan" the Port Authority and Jetblue are kicking around is to tear down Terminal 6 (which is also sad since it's the old National terminal and it's main terminal is actually kind of nice with the glass doors) and tear down the concourse areas and connector tubes of Terminal 5.

Terminal 5's main section would then somehow be incorporated as a hotel, restaraunt, museum etc into the new Jet blue terminal.

However ticketing and baggage claim etc would be in a new building to be built on land between Terminals 5 and 6.

The problem is that Jetblue is pressuring the PA for the new terminal and gates, however they are still a new "start-up" and the history for start ups in the US Airline industry is not good. If Jetblue were to fail in the next 10 years (quite possible) the Port Authority would be stuck with a terminal and a bunch of gates no one wants.

JFK has plenty of gates and capacity built into the new Terminal 4 which is designed to more than double it's current 16 gates, JFK is a ghost town except for Jetblue during the day. If Jetblue goes under and no one takes their place then the PA is going to be stuck with an expensive terminal, which might sit empty for a long time.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 12:09 pm

I would, personally, fail to shed a tear if T6 was torn down. Yes, it might have been architecturally grand at the time, but it is now a very outdated terminal, especially the airside portion. T5, on the other hand, would make a great addition to the JetBlue image if it could be worked into a new terminal plan.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:23 pm

I'm reluctantly preservationist. I don't want to see any part of T5 go. On the other hand, the concourses are only part of the overall terminal, so if they must go to keep the main building, then I suppose I can live with that.

I hope that you'll still be able to see aircraft and operations from the old terminal building. IIRC, you can see the aircraft moving about from the main terminal lounge. I also hope the new terminal will keep "in style" with the old T5, albiet I'd expect a new color scheme (perhaps exchange all that TWA red carpet for Jet blue).

Anyway, I hope they can come up with a solution that satisfies as many as possible and that they do it soon. It's such a waste that T5 is empty...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:38 am

I think they should convert it to a terminal for business jets! Business jets wouldn't have the need to complete redo terminal and it therefore would be less expensive to refurbish. I heard that the Port Authority doesn't allow BBJs and bigger corporate aircraft at Teterborough and this could be a nice terninal for them, plus a nice restaurent for the public upstairs  Smile

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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:52 am

I still remember how impressive T5 was when I took my first 747 trip out of there in 1970. TWA had only had their 747 a few weeks, and I remember how graceful the sweeping of the architechture was. All that glass as well.
I certainly do hope they keep T5 intact. A museum/shops site seems the best for now, I think too much rennovation could ruin the original concept.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Mon Sep 29, 2003 7:52 pm

I hope the keep the main concourse of T5 intact, it is a stunning building with a long and honourable history as part of New York's world gateway - I only flew through T5 once, on a TWE connection JFK-BOS-JFK, but I'm so glad I got to fly through the famous TWA terminal. It would be nice to keep the connecting "tubes" to the gates too, but the gate areas themselve are awful, old and cramped and ugly. I am sure it would be possible to build a beautiful gate concourse behind the original terminal building, maybe even keep the ticketing/check in desks there too. It would be great kudos to B6 to be part of that, and to maintain a piece of air transport history in the role for which it was intended.
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RE: TWA Terminal At JFK?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 12:38 am

Here are the facts regarding T5:

- To some, the terminal is a beautiful building. Others don't care. Personally, I like it - it brings back a lot of nostalgia.
- The Saarinen building will probably never be used as a terminal building again and I don't believe either the PA or JetBlue have any intention of using it as such.
- JetBlue currently uses a remodeled T6 and with new planes arriving all the time, has forseen outgrowing this facility soon.
- The Port Authority is presenting several suggestions to JetBlue, most regarding doing something with a new T5. Yes, the Saarinen building stays, but the PA is interested in creating a new terminal behind this building, perhaps inter-connected with T6 OR T4 (so JetBlue could go international, if it wished).
- JetBlue is probably looking at many alternatives and whatever the final decision is, there are going to be some ticked off preservationists somewhere. My guess is the pods and tubes, although retro-cool, do not meet JetBlue's needs and will be razed with the gate areas of T5.
- I highly doubt the lawsuits made against JetBlue will come to much, for reasons I have expressed in other threads, and this will not stop the airline's expansion plans AT ALL.

I do believe that the PA better get a move on with its decision, regarding T5, or JetBlue may re-think its strategy of expansion at JFK.
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