Former Braniff Training Facility to Become Luxury Hotel

With a Decidedly Braniff Motif

Former Braniff Training Facility to Become Luxury Hotel
Braniff International Airways hostesses in uniforms by Emilio Pucci, 1965.

Tyler Morse really did have a great idea with his TWA Hotel because last month, taking a page from the JFK TWA Hotel venture built by MCR and minority partner, JetBlue Airways, a new hotel is being planned for 2023 occupancy minutes from at Dallas Fort Worth Airport. And the theme airline is Braniff, which like TWA, is a defunct airline. 

The agreement was signed with Dallas historical property developer MM Property Holdings, Inc., the new owner of the Hostess College property, which was purchased from Greenway Properties of Dallas. MM Property Holdings was the developer of the historic 169-room Statler Hilton Hotel in Dallas, which was fully restored to its former glory in 2018.

The new hotel is being built on land formerly housing Braniff’s International Hostess College and dormitory for Flight Attendants. For Braniff, the college was not only a training facility, but another opportunity to brand itself through modern design, a practice that companies like Apple and Target wouldn’t fully adopt until the 1990s.

Former Braniff Training Facility to Become Luxury Hotel
Braniff’s Hostess College, built in 1968 and designed by Pierce, Lacey and Associates, was a training school where the airline would “turn the girl next door into a truly cosmopolitan lady.”

The training facility was a five-story building, dating back to 1968, and encompasses 59,925 square feet on nearly 1 acre at 2801 Wycliff Ave., next to the Dallas North Tollway and near Dallas Love Field. Most recently, the property was a retirement community called ParkGate, which opened in 1999 and closed in 2014. It’s been vacant since then.

 “The shape, the colors, all of it; it’s definitely a feminine building,” architect Neal Lacey, of Dallas-based Pierce, Lacey and Associates, told the local news media upon its unveiling. The academy was designed to accommodate up to 142 would-be hostesses for a five-week training course. 

Braniff was already in operation primarily as southwestern based airline in 1965, the year executive Harding Lawrence took control of what was then a regional airline and transformed it into an international beacon of contemporary chic.

Specifics of the new Braniff-themed luxury hotel are still up in the air including who will run the property and whether it will be independent like the TWA Hotel or part of a larger group, like Hyatt or Marriott.

Former Braniff Training Facility to Become Luxury Hotel
Braniff Douglas DC-8-62 wearing Alexander Calder’s Flying Colors of South America design at Miami Airport in August 1975

The Braniff Airlines Foundation President, Ben Cass said the hotel will have 75 luxury rooms, and feature Braniff themes and memorabilia; sound familiar?

Braniff will maintain creative control over the use of its intellectual property throughout the two-year restoration project. The company also will provide consultation and assistance with the interior and exterior restoration of the property. 

Proposed hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar and large swimming pool with outdoor bar and beverage service. A Braniff Boutique store will be housed in the new hotel offering Braniff-branded goods ranging from model airplanes to Braniff-branded drink coasters and T-shirts.

The hotel facility itself is still an idea at the moment; there was no design-spec or rendition available on what the interior or exterior may look like.

Joseph Alba
Mr. Alba was previously Editor of the Airport Press for 12 years covering both local as well as global aviation news. Prior to this, Mr. Alba had Executive positions in Systems Engineering and Marketing with IBM World Trade, and had foreign assignments in the Far East and Latin America earning three Outstanding Achievement Awards. Mr. Alba also directed a new function dealing with Alternate Fuels for Public Service Electric & Gas company in New Jersey and founded a Natural Gas Vehicle Consortium consisting of car company executives and fleet owners, and NGV suppliers in New Jersey. Mr. Alba was a founding partner of ATA, an IT Consulting company which is still active in Central and South America. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Alba’s initial employee was the U.S. Defense Department as an analyst.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great project and just another reason for Ferry service to JFK from NYC and NJ. The best part about ferry
    service it could be put in place tomorrow. All you would need is a shuttle ferry to the Rockaway ferry dock and then you would be connected to the 21 ferry stops in NYC and the 15 ferry stops in NJ.

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