This beautiful silk scarf belongs to my great friend Lenore, who just happened to have been a TWA employee – as a Customer Service Ticket and Gate Agent, working in the TWA Terminal. She also still has her “wings” and employee identification:
Given this information, you might be able to understand the surreal nature of my birthday celebration and overnight stay at the now TWA Hotel. Frankly, we laughed non-stop. More on the time bending experiences in a bit. First let’s go to check in.
As mentioned in my previous post, the transformation from the terminal to the hotel was accomplished with much care taken to keep the architectural beauty – starting at the magnificent entrance hall:
In the lower left of the second photo you can see the check-in area – here is a better view:
There was also a self check in kiosk, but given that was not available in the 1960’s we opted for the personal service – and the “Gate Agents” even had a working luggage conveyor belt behind them:
As we passed through the lobby to the elevators to our room, we thoroughly enjoyed the collection of retro country posters on the walls:
Our room continued the retro fashion with multi light floor lamp, rotary phone and architect Saarinen-designed midcentury shaped furnishings. Brilliantly, the designers opted to throw in some modern day comforts – top line bed and bedding. Most importantly since we were facing active airport runways, the room had a glass curtain wall that is seven panes and 4.5 inches thick with blackout curtains. This soundproof windows afforded a clear view ofplanes taking off while our sleep overnight was uninterrupted.
In effect, the TWA Hotel is part hotel, part museum. In fact, The New York Historical Society curated the exhibits that focus on TWA’s history – Howard Hughes and Saarinen’s offices have been recreated with minute details as well as a very authentic looking 1962 living room – which looked eerily like my own childhood living room. There are colorful displays of uniforms from 1945 to 2001 and Lenore fit in perfectly with her TWA scarf:
To continue in this vein – here she is side by side with a current flight attendant:
Here are photos of the 1962 living room – in addition to the decor, being a close match to my home, I owned most of the same toys, games, books and. vinyl records:
I did not, however have a Barbie collection but she was there as well in an original Barbie Dreamhouse:
Another exhibit was a room size version of a very popular game, Twister:
Although this room was supposed to be interactive, there was a malfunction, but we still had fun with it:
There’s much more – tune in next week! For now, let me conclude with this model of the original TWA Flight Center, and a long view photo so you see how it was do rightly called, as Lenore reminded me, “A bird Poised in Flight.”