For the most part, restoration of the first level is looking good and nearly complete. The scarlet carpets of the famous tube walkways are new, the seating area is cushy and the Departure boards are functioning. Upstairs however, the former Paris Cafe and Lisbon Lounge are bare, while the upper class lounge boasts a few seats and some banquettes with cracking leather. Regardless, it's not difficult to take a good look and close your eyes to imagine how it was (and how it will be again).
During the Open House event, many former TWA flight crew members showed up, some in uniform. Down in the snazzy orange Constellation Club three former flight attendants held court, telling their stories to a small gathered group of listeners and a slew of JetBlue people who wandered over on their breaks or before flights.
Will this building ever be used for air travel again? Probably not, although JetBlue had hopes a while ago (and there are still two unplugged JetBlue check-in machines in the foyer). We spoke to an official from the Port Authory of NY & NJ who said "ticketing buildings are a thing of the past. Passengers just want to print off boarding passes on their own to go straight to the gate." He also called Delta's Terminal 3 (the old Pan Am Worldport) the "shabbiest terminal at JFK," but then again, we knew that and it's up for demolishment anyway.
What will the future hold for the TWA Flight Center? Who knows, really? It's a gorgeous structure that's receiving a lot of TLC right now and it's anyone's game. We only hope it won't stay closed to the public for so many years again.
[Photos and video: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]