From the highway to Broadway! Click through the photos of Connie's historic jaunt to Times Square.
Start spreading the news: The 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane bound to become a cocktail lounge at the TWA Hotel — the only on-airport hotel at JFK — parked in Times Square at Broadway and 45th Street on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24.
The fuselage of the fully restored plane, which was disassembled and trucked from Maine in October 2018, rode from JFK Airport on Friday, March 22, to Avenue of the Americas and Canal Street. After spending the night in the city that never sleeps, the fuselage — carried on a trailer by Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, Ltd. — made its way up Avenue of the Americas, through Columbus Circle and down Seventh Avenue before landing at a pedestrian plaza.
Connie’s spin through NYC was filmed for the documentary The Rebirth of the TWA Flight Center helmed by Peter Rosen, director of 2016’s Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future. Suite Spot, an NYC production company, captured the move from land and air. Chronicling the transformation of architect Saarinen’s landmark 1962 TWA terminal into the TWA Hotel, the documentary also traces the history of the building, which was designed around the Connie airplane.
Connie flew into JFK (then named Idlewild) while it was in service as a Trans World Airlines passenger plane. The 116-foot-long plane with a 150-foot wingspan was so special to TWA that, in 1955, the airline erected an eight-story billboard of the Constellation in Times Square on Broadway and 43rd Street. In addition to a two-fifths scale Connie model with a working propeller, the billboard had 20,000 lightbulbs and 50 miles of electrical wiring for a total electrical load of ½ million watts!
The plane’s fuselage returned to JFK Airport in the early hours of Monday, March 25. Connie then began her final makeover into a cocktail lounge on the tarmac outside the TWA Hotel.
Fly, girl! On April 9, Connie N8083H is hoisted into the same spot at the TWA terminal where she parked in 1962, when JFK was named Idlewild Airport.
The 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane has a glamorous past.
A meticulous renovation restores Connie to her glory days.