New York State Pavilion (Queens)
New York State Pavilion
New York State Pavilion
|Location||Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Flushing, New York 11368|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Johnson, Philip, Lev Zetlin|
|NRHP Reference #||09000942|
|Added to NRHP||November 20, 2009|
The New York State Pavilion is a historic world's fair pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Flushing, Queens, New York. The New York State Pavilion was designed for the 1964 New York World's Fair by architects Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin, and built between 1962 and 1964.
'Tent of Tomorrow'
The "Tent of Tomorrow" is elliptical in plan, and its sixteen 100-foot reinforced concrete piers once supported the largest cable suspension roof in the world. The main floor of the Tent was a large scale design of a Texaco highway map of New York State, made of terrazzo. An idea floated after the fair to use the floor for the World Trade Center didn't materialize. Once the red ceiling tiles were removed from the pavilion in the late 1970s, the terrazzo floor was subject to the elements of weather and was ruined.
The Observation Towers are three concrete towers, with the tallest at 226 feet (69 metres) high. The towers have observation platforms which were once accessed by two "Sky Streak capsule" elevators attached to the tallest (western) tower. The southern tower has a platform height of 85 feet (26 metres) and the northern tower is at 160 feet (49 metres).
"Theaterama" was originally a single drum-shaped volume of reinforced concrete. Additions to the original structure were made from 1992 to 1993 and from 2008 to 2009. The Theaterama is home to the Queens Theatre, a performing arts center which produces and presents theatre and dance, as well as children's and cultural programming.
Some parts of the Pavilion complex are actively being used, while other parts are abandoned ruins, used only as scenic backdrops.
After the fair
The New York State Pavilion was one of two pavilions retained for future use; the other was the United States Pavilion building. No reuse was ever found for the U.S. Pavilion, however, and it became severely deteriorated and vandalized; the U.S. Pavilion building was ultimately demolished in 1977.
In the decades after the fair closed, and as of 2014, it remained an abandoned and badly neglected relic, with its roof gone and the once bright floors and walls almost faded away. Once the red ceiling tiles were removed from the pavilion in the late 1970s for safety reasons, the Texaco terrazzo floor map of New York State was subject to the elements of weather and was ruined. In 1994, the Queens Theatre took over the Circarama adjacent to the towers and continues to operate there, using the ruined state pavilion as a storage depot.
For the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair, on April 22, 2014, the long-shuttered New York State Pavilion was opened to the public for three hours. Because of the pavilion's state of decay, visitors were required to wear hardhats.
Some conservation and restoration efforts were demonstrated in 2008 by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, and a handful of local groups are advocating to raise funds to complete the restoration of the terrazzo floor. The pavilion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
In the fall of 2013, New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation announced plans to restore the pavilion with new landscaped paths and event spaces at an estimated cost of $73 million, as opposed to the $14 million cost to demolish the structure.
Renewed interest was shown in the pavilion's restoration in early 2014, the 50th anniversary of its opening.
In July 2014, the pavilion received about $5.8 million for restoration. The New York Mets also donated some money for the preservation effort. However, the pavilion was damaged the same month by arsonists.
- "National Register of Historic Places". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-06-25.
- Emily T. Cooperman (July 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: 1964-1965 New York World's Fair New York State Pavilion". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-01-16. See also: "Accompanying 23 photos".
- "Long-Shuttered N.Y. State Pavilion In Queens To Reopen For 3 Hours Next Month," CBS New York, March 25, 2014
- "New York State Pavilion Receives $5.8 Million for Restoration". New York Times. July 8, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- Jeremiah Budin (2014-07-29). "Mets Will Donate Money to Help Save New York State Pavilion". Curbed. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- "Vandals break into the historic New York State Pavilion and set fire to a stolen van, damaging the 50-year-old terrazzo map". NY Daily News. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-333, "New York State Pavilion, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens borough, New York, New York, NY", 60 data pages
- New York World's Fair 1964 1965 - New York State Pavilion
- New York State Pavilion Project