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TWA Terminal Turned Hotel: A Visit with Tonisha Ramona

Step into the iconic TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, and you'll find yourself transported not just across continents, but through time itself. Every part of the hotel screams Jet Age, highlighting that vibrant era of the 1950s and 1960s when air travel was taking off. Air travel was still glamorous but was becoming more accessible to the masses. TWA, which operated from 1930 until 2001, epitomized this era, when people got dressed up to fly and travel in the '50s and '60s, akin to the set design of the 1950s Mad Men era and the fashion and lifestyle of the TV show Pan Am.

For those of us with an eye for design, a penchant for nostalgia, and a passion for the artistry of space, this architectural marvel is not merely a stopover but a journey into the heart of mid-century elegance. History buffs, architecture lovers, Instagrammers seeking the perfect shot, foodies craving a taste of the past, and weary travelers in JFK alike would all find something to love within its walls.


This wing flight center, completed in 1962, stands as a testament to the innovative design and futuristic vision of its time. Despite its closure for four years from 2001 to 2005 following the dissolution of the airline, the flight center remained a symbol of aviation's golden age. And now, even after its temporary dormancy, the terminal exudes an aura of timeless charm, beckoning us to pause, breathe, and immerse ourselves in its retro splendor.

 

As an interior designer and fellow design enthusiast, I can't help but be captivated by the allure of the TWA Terminal. It's a place where every curve, every line, whispers tales of a bygone era, conjuring memories of Mad Men's sleek sophistication and Pan Am's glamorous allure.

 

So come along with me as we casually explore the TWA Terminal, where every corner tells a story, and every detail ignites the senses. Let's delve into the intersection of history, design, and wanderlust, as we uncover the chic and casual magic of this architectural gem reborn.

As I wandered through the Terminal of TWA, I found myself entranced by its exquisite design. The marriage of stone and bright red accents created a vibrant tapestry of color, while the interplay of strong lines and sweeping curves evoked a sense of timeless elegance.

 

But it wasn't just the aesthetics that captivated me; the entire experience was a symphony of sensory delights. The air was alive with the melodic strains of period music, transporting me to a bygone era of glamour and sophistication. I couldn't resist the urge to Shazam the entire playlist, seizing the opportunity to immerse myself fully in the journey.

Yet, amidst the retro ambiance, there was a curious juxtaposition – the presence of modern-day travelers. It was a surreal sight, seeing the space filled with people whose attire and demeanor seemed out of place against the backdrop of mid-century charm. It begged the question: where did reality begin and end? Was I merely a player in a carefully curated scene, or was I truly experiencing a moment frozen in time?

Nevertheless, I found solace in the Conversation Pit Waiting area, where I could indulge in quiet reflection amidst the period-inspired decor. And oh, the view! Through the great wall of windows, I caught a glimpse of a plane, a poignant reminder of the terminal's storied past and its enduring connection to the world beyond.

 

In every aspect, the Terminal of TWA offered a glimpse into a world both familiar and fantastical, where design and experience converged to create a truly unforgettable journey. It was a testament to the power of architecture and nostalgia, inviting me to step back in time and savor the beauty of a bygone era.

Allow me to regale you with tales of the charming phone booth installation at the TWA Airport/Hotel. It's a veritable ode to times captured, where every moment feels like a scene straight out of a classic film.

 

Stepping into these vintage booths is like entering a portal to another era, where communication was an art form and connection was palpable. With rotary phones at your fingertips and directories awaiting your perusal, it's a journey back in time that simply begs to be savored.

 

But it's not just the functionality that captivates; it's the design.

For those of us who cherish times captured and design with a timeless allure, the phone booth installation at the TWA Airport/Hotel is a true gem. It's a reminder of the beauty and intimacy of human connection, preserved in a setting that exudes elegance and charm.

 

So, my dear, the next time you find yourself in need of a moment of respite, I implore you to seek out these enchanting booths. Step inside, dial a number, and let yourself be transported to a world where every conversation is a work of art, and every moment is a memory waiting to be made.

 

Prepare to be swept away on a journey through time as you step into the vintage salon at the TWA Airport/Hotel. It's a sanctuary of retro glamour, reminiscent of a bygone era when hair was styled to perfection and beauty rituals were elevated to an art form.

 

Picture walls adorned in soft blush tones, casting a rosy glow that whispers of femininity and elegance. Muted blues dance delicately in the background, adding a touch of serenity to the bustling atmosphere of creativity and transformation.

 

Pink cemented its status as the quintessential spring color, gracing runways and wardrobes alike with its cheerful presence. Its ascent to fashion prominence was further solidified when it caught the discerning eye of British Vogue in 1953, marking a pivotal moment in its journey towards widespread recognition and acceptance.

Adorning these walls are sketches of women's hairstyles, each stroke of the pen a homage to the iconic looks of the '60s. From chic bouffants to daring beehives, these illustrations invite you to indulge in fantasies of glamour and sophistication.

 

But the pièce de résistance? Ah, it must be the display of wigs, each one a masterpiece of design and ingenuity. Amidst the fluttering of hair dryers, these wigs stand as symbols of a time when beauty knew no bounds, and style was limited only by one's imagination.

 

As you immerse yourself in this chic haven, you may find yourself longing for more interaction – perhaps a chance to don one of these exquisite wigs or to procure a vintage-inspired hair accessory. Alas, such dreams may have to wait, but fear not, for the experience alone is worth savoring.


Stepping into Hughes' domain is akin to traversing the threshold of a bygone era, evoking the allure of a Mad Men-esque setting where every detail exudes an aura of sophistication and allure. Here, amidst the tangible relics of productivity, one is reminded of a time when the conduct of business was grounded in the tactile realm of physical workspace—a stark contrast to the fluidity of today's digital landscape.

 

Within these walls lie treasures that whisper tales of Hughes' eclectic interests and unwavering pursuit of excellence. Vintage radios serenade the airwaves, typewriters click rhythmically, and the aroma of fine cigars lingers—a symphony of sensory delights that paints a vivid portrait of an era defined by innovation and industry.

 

The decor itself is a testament to the era's penchant for bold expression, diverging from the restrained minimalism of modern design. Patterns dance across fabrics, textures tantalize the fingertips, and each element contributes to an ambiance steeped in nostalgia and charm—a homage to a time when aesthetics were as integral to the workspace as functionality.

 

Yet, beyond its aesthetic allure, Hughes' office serves as a shrine to his towering legacy in aviation. From his daring exploits of the 1930s to his record-breaking feats in transcontinental flight, Hughes' indelible imprint on the industry is woven into the very fabric of the terminal. Here, amidst the echoes of a bygone era, one cannot help but be inspired by the spirit of innovation and ambition that defined Hughes and his enduring contributions to the world of flight.

 


At the Plane Bar, an intriguing fusion of aviation history and modern hospitality awaits. Crafted in collaboration between Stonehill Taylor and New Jersey-based Samuelson Furniture, the ambiance effortlessly blends nostalgia with contemporary flair. Guests are greeted by vibrant red banquettes, meticulously restored original airline seats, and a cocktail lounge adorned with a mix of seating options including actual airline seats and plush couches. Stepping inside, visitors are enveloped by the intimate space, where every corner invites exploration and conversation. As patrons sip on drinks and nibble on snacks from the concise menu, they are transported back in time by the meticulously restored cockpit and navigator's chair, while the exterior proudly showcases its freshly painted 1950s branding. Despite its compact size, the Plane Bar buzzes with excitement as guests revel in the novelty of sipping cocktails aboard a once-flying icon. However, some visitors find themselves yearning for more interaction and engagement, wishing for perhaps a flight attendant to enhance the immersive experience. Nevertheless, the allure of the Plane Bar remains undeniable, a testament to the timeless charm of aviation and the art of hospitality.


Stepping into the TWA Hotel is like taking a journey back in time. With its sleek lines, iconic red carpet, and vintage aviation memorabilia, the hotel exudes an irresistible nostalgia for the golden age of air travel. Yet, amidst this homage to the past, the stunning architecture of the hotel's soaring lobby and futuristic guest rooms captivates with its modern elegance and innovation. Whether you're an design and architecture enthusiast, or simply in search of a unique stay, the TWA Hotel promises a jaw dropping experience. So, next time you find yourself passing through JFK, don't miss the chance to step into this time capsule and indulge in its retro charm and architectural splendor.

Hey jet-setter! Are you ready to infuse your space with the some hip 50's influences? Imagine bold patterns, fun shapes, and eclectic accents that celebrate the creative and ingenuity of the period. Our team of passionate stylists is here to help you draw inspiration from your favorite shows, movies, or buildings you love to create a truly unique and captivating space. Click the button below to get in touch with us, and let's embark on a journey to transform your space into a beautiful homage to bygone era. Don't miss out on the opportunity to infuse your home with this unique period of design!


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