Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
|Flushing Meadows-Corona Park|
|Area||897 acres (363 ha)|
|Operated by||New York City Department Parks & Recreation|
|Status||Open all year|
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, often referred to as Flushing Meadows Park, or simply Flushing Meadows, is a public park in New York City. Located in the borough of Queens, it is between I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) and the Grand Central Parkway and stretches from Flushing Bay, at the southern edge of LaGuardia Airport, to Union Turnpike. It contains the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the current venue for the US Open tennis tournament; Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team; the New York Hall of Science; the Queens Museum of Art; the Queens Theatre in the Park; the Queens Zoo; and the New York State Pavilion. It formerly contained Shea Stadium, demolished in 2009.
The fourth largest public park in New York City, it was created as the site of the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair and also hosted the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. It was long believed to be 1,255 acres (508 ha) in size, but a survey concluded in 2013 found its actual size to be 897 acres (363 ha) when accounting for major roads and other exclusions within the park's perimeter. This does not take into account a disputed claim, which entails that the neighborhood of Willets Point, at the north edge of the park, is part of the park.
It is owned and maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Private, non-profit groups such as the Flushing Meadows–Corona Park Conservancy and the Alliance for Flushing Meadows–Corona Park provide additional funds, and services, and support. The park is at the eastern edge of the area encompassed by Queens Community Board 4.
The park is named after the nearby neighborhoods of Flushing and Corona, which are separated by the park. The name "Flushing" is a corruption of the port town of Vlissingen in the Netherlands. By the 19th century, the name became associated with "a cleansing by rushing water". "Corona" was added to the name in 1964.
During at least three glacial periods, including the Wisconsin glaciation around 20,000 years ago, ice sheets advanced south across North America carving moraines, valleys, and hills. In particular, bays and estuaries were formed along the north shore of Long Island. During glaciation, what is now Flushing Meadows Park was formed just north of the terminal moraine that runs across Long Island, which consisted of sand, gravel, clay and boulders. The moraine created a drainage divide, with rivers north of the moraine such as the future Flushing River emptying into the north shore. The Flushing Meadows site became a glacial lake, and then a salt marsh after the ice melted. Into the 19th Century, the site continued to consist of wetlands straddling Flushing River. Species inhabiting the site included waterfowl and fiddler crab, with fish using water pools for spawning.
The area was first settled by Algonquian Native Americans of Long Island (referred to erroneously as "Mantinecocks"). They consisted of the "Canarsee" and "Rockaway" Lenape groups, which inhabited costal wetlands across Queens and Brooklyn. Beginning in 1640, Dutch settlers moved into the area, establishing the Town of Newtown to the west of the site (which would become Elmhurst, Corona, and other areas in western Queens), and the Town of Flushing to the east. The meadows became known as the Corona Meadows. By 1666, the Native American population had been displaced from the Flushing Meadow site by European settlers, although a deed reserved the right to hunt on the land for the Native Americans. Several wealthy landowners began building farmhouses on the site in the mid-to-late 17th Century. The meadows provided numerous natural resources for settlers, including timber, water, fertile soil, and grass and hay for grazing domestic animals. During the American Revolution, a farmhouse on the site of the modern World's Fair Marina was used as a headquarters for British forces.
By the 1800s, primitive roads were established crossing the meadows, running along what are now Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway. Several railroads were also laid through the site, including lines of the Flushing and North Side Railroad (today's LIRR Port Washington Branch and the defunct Whitestone Branch). Shortly after the American Civil War, the meadows became a waterfront resort due to its natural beauty, while affluent New Yorkers constructed homes in the area. British saloon-keeper Harry Hill would build the Flushing Bay Hotel and Pavilion on the future marina site.
Filling and use as a dumping ground
Around 1907, contractor Michael Degnon, whose firm constructed the Williamsburg Bridge, the Cape Cod Canal, and the Steinway subway tunnel (used by today's 7 <7> trains), purchased large tracts of marsh near Flushing Creek. At the time, the land was considered "all but worthless". Degnon envisioned using the site to create a large industrial port around Flushing Bay, similar to a terminal he developed in Long Island City. By 1911, Degnon had created a plan along with the United States Department of War and the Queens Topographical Bureau. The plan envisioned widening Flushing River and creating docks for ships, with numerous factories and freight facilities. Meanwhile, the residential areas of Corona were expected to become the primary residence for factory workers.
To create the port, beginning in 1910 Degnon proceeded to fill the land using household coal refuse ashes and street sweepings from Brooklyn. Degnon set up two companies of his own, one of which was contracted with the New York City Department of Sanitation. He also contracted the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company, owned by a member of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine. Residential ash was collected via trolleys of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, and loaded onto freight trains which traveled via the Long Island Rail Road branches, or other trolleys, which hauled the refuse to Corona. The operation was referred to as a citywide refuse "conveyor belt", while the trains were nicknamed the "Talcum Powder Express" because they often ran uncovered and deposited soot onto the surroundings. The northern end of the site was filled via now-conventional means, using dirt pumped from Flushing Bay which was being dredged to a lower depth. Material from the bay was extracted by an offshore hydraulic machine, and funneled through a 1,500-foot (460 m) pipe across Northern Boulevard, before being deposited onto the wetlands. The filling for the north meadow was complete in 1916.
The prospect of creating a port was halted in 1917 by material restrictions caused by World War I, and a lack of federal support for the project. Industrial activities in the borough were fulfilled by existing terminals in Long Island City, Maspeth, Flushing, and College Point. Dumping of ash into the meadows continued, however, fueled by the increased use of garbage incinerators in the city. The area became known as the Corona Dump or Corona Ash Dumps. During nearly 30 years of filling, around 50 million cubic yards of ash and waste were dumped onto the meadows site. One particular mound of ash rose 90 feet (27 m) high and was called "Mount Corona". Other mounds rose 40–50 feet (12–15 m) high. The average thickness of the ash was 30 feet (9.1 m).
The dumps drew the ire of local residents, due to strong odors and being deemed unsightly, along with increasing rat infestations in the local neighborhoods. Much of the "street sweepings" collected consisted of horse manure from horse-drawn carriages. In addition, many residents simply threw out normal garbage along with the coal ashes. The meadows were also considered one of the worst breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the city. The dump was famously characterized as "a valley of ashes" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald meanwhile described the Flushing River, now polluted from the dumps, as "a small foul river". The dumps and garbage trains were accused of facilitating a Polio outbreak in Corona in 1916. The Brooklyn Ash Removal Company was brought to court by local residents in 1923 for "violation of the sanitary code" due to the smoke emitted from the dumps. As a minor concession, the company opened the Corona Park Golf and Country Club in 1931, on a tract near Nassau Boulevard (today's Long Island Expressway).
Park planning and World's Fairs
New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses first conceived the idea of developing a large park in Flushing Meadow in the 1920s. At the time, he envisioned the site to become a "true 'Central Park'", especially with much of city population moving to Queens and Long Island due to urban sprawl. Moses also planned Flushing Meadows to be the westernmost of a chain of parks running across Queens, including Kissena Park, Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park, and Douglaston Park. In 1929, representatives from surrounding communities created a plan to turn the ash dump into a recreational complex, and presented them to Queens Borough President George U. Harvey. In 1930, Moses released plans for numerous parks and highways in the city. This included the Grand Central Parkway, the construction of which would require taking land from the ash dumps. One of the provisional projects listed was a Flushing River Park, along with a "Flushing River Parkway". The Brooklyn Ash Removal Company's contract with the city expired in 1933, and the city took over the company's assets and operations on May 25, 1934. The Brooklyn Ash property occupied around 300 acres of the 1000 acre site, north of what is now the Long Island Expressway. The remainder of the meadows still contained natural wildlife. It was frequented by fur trappers, local residents collecting firewood and growing vegetables, and later squattors during the Great Depression. Areas of the dumps were also used for growing vegetables, with the soil fertilized by the garbage and manure.
In 1935, the site, now planned as "Flushing Meadow Park", was selected for what would become the 1939 World's Fair. In addition to the ash dumps and undeveloped meadows, houses in Corona east of 111th Street, adjacent to the dumps, were condemned and added to the site, displacing residents. The plans were drafted by Parks Department landscape architect Gilmore David Clarke and his partner Michael Rapuano, designed in Beaux-Arts style. Work on the World's Fair site began on June 16, 1936. The project primarily involved leveling the ash mounds, with the leftover material used to fill other areas of the meadow. Two sites were excavated to create Meadow and Willow Lake, while much of the Flushing River was diverted into underground culverts. A floodgate was built to prevent tidal flow from flooding the lakes. In addition to recreation, the lakes would serve as repositories for excess storm runoff. The dirt from the lake sites was used as additional topsoil for the park. The project was a 24-hour-a-day job, with 450 workers operating on three daily shifts. Workers had to combat the effects of high tide, and dust storms created by the ash. The work significantly changed the topography of the meadows, differing from that created by glaciation. Thousands of trees were transplanted to the fair site in order to create a natural landscape. Meanwhile, thousands of 100-foot (30 m) Douglas fir timbers were driven into the ground to create the foundations for fair structures. The pedestrian plan called for numerous wide tree-lined pathways, including a central "Cascade Mall" leading to the Trylon and Perisphere, many of which would be retained for the park.
Faced with having to dispose of the mountains of ashes, Moses strategically incorporated a significant portion of the refuse into the bases of the Van Wyck Expressway running along the eastern side of the park, the nearby Interboro Parkway (now Jackie Robinson Parkway), and the Long Island Expressway that divides the park into north and south halves. The Grand Central Parkway separates a western lobe from the main part of the northern half, while the east-west Jewel Avenue bisects the southern half.
The success of the Flushing Meadows site as a garbage dump-turned-park led Moses and the city to develop other wetlands in the city into parks via short-term refuse landfilling. This process was used to create Marine Park and Spring Creek Park in Brooklyn, and Ferry Point Park in the Bronx. This was also the original plan for the Fresh Kills and Edgemere landfills, which remained open past their expected tenure and became large and long-term municipal waste sites. The Fresh Kills site is currently being developed into Freshkills Park.
Following the closure of the Fair in 1940, the site was supposed to be cleared in order to develop and open Flushing Meadows as a city park. The onset of World War II, however, delayed the project. The profits from the World's Fair were supposed to pay for the development of the park, but in spite of its success the fair turned a financial loss. Only two permanent attractions were opened in 1941: an ice skating rink and roller rink in the New York City Building, and a public pool located in the New York State Marine Amphitheatre (now demolished). The latter utilized the pool used for Billy Rose's Aquacade during the fair. In the mean time, some of the buildings from the 1939 Fair were used for the first temporary headquarters of the United Nations beginning in 1946. The former New York City Building was used for the UN General Assembly during this time. Moses attempted to sell Flushing Meadows as a permanent headquarters for the UN, which would have required new structures and a complete redesign of the fair ground layout. The proposal was rejected however, due to concerns over the strength of the former marshland for building construction, the lack of "scenic beauty" in the meadows, and the distance from Manhattan. The UN moved to their now-permanent headquarters in 1951. The New York City building was later refurbished for the 1964 Fair as the New York City Pavilion, featuring the Panorama of the City of New York, an enormous scale model of the entire city. It is one of two buildings that survive from the 1939–40 Fair, and the only one that remains in its original location. (The other is the Belgium exhibition building, disassembled and moved to the campus of Virginia Union University in 1941.) It is now the home of the Queens Museum of Art, which still houses, and occasionally updates, the Panorama. The remainder of the park, meanwhile, had fallen into disrepair, with wild animals moving back into the area. Only minor upgrades to the park occurred during this time.
The Flushing Meadows site was selected in 1959 for the 1964 World's Fair. Gilmore D. Clarke and Michael Rapuano were retained to tailor the original 1939 park layout for the new fair. Three structures were retained from the 1939 Fair. Meanwhile, several new structures and attractions were created including the Unisphere, Shea Stadium, the New York Hall of Science, and Queens Botanical Garden; the latter three were intended as permanent attractions for the future park. The Unisphere, built as the theme symbol for the 1964/1965 World's Fair, has since become the main sculptural feature of the park. It stands on the site occupied by the Perisphere during the earlier Fair. The Van Wyck Expressway was extended north through the park site, along the right-of-way of the former World's Fair Railroad. Moses and the Parks Department also prepared post-fair plans to finish Flushing Meadows Park, as well as Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park, projected to be complete by 1967.
In early 1964, the New York City Council added "Corona" to the park's name, so that the park was named "Flushing Meadows-Corona Park", in preparation for that year's World's Fair. Councilman Edward Sadowsky explained that this was intended to correct an injustice: "The people of Corona have long lived in the aroma of a junkyard or a dump named for their community. Now, when there is something beautiful to be seen, there is no mention of the name Corona." Following the fair, most of the remaining $11.6 million from the fair funds, as well as money from Moses' Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, were used to rehabilitate the site into a true park. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was transferred from the World's Fair Corporation back to the Parks Department, and opened on June 3, 1967.
Although the park was opened, it had yet to become the grand park Moses had originally envisioned. In August 1967, new parks commissioner August Heckscher II sought to begin improvements on the park in order to turn it into the "Central Park of the 20th century." A new plan for the park had been designed by architects Marcel Breuer and Kenzō Tange, but the project did not receive funds due to communication issues with the New York City Comptroller's office. By 1972, little development had taken place to improve the park, while many World's Fair structures remained in disrepair. The disrepair was systematic within the park system, a product of lack of funding during that decade's fiscal crisis. This state of disrepair continued into the 1980s.
In 1978, the US Open tennis tournament was moved from the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tournament was originally held in the Singer Bowl stadium (renamed the Louis Armstrong Stadium), a 1964 World's Fair structure which was renovated and expanded for the tournament. Other parts of the park were also repaired or expanded for the tournament, including the fountains of the Unisphere.
Since the early 1990s, the New York State Pavilion's ledges, steps, and fountain grates have been utilized by skateboarders and featured in famous east coast skateboarding videos. In 2010 a skate plaza was built nearby to host the Maloof Money Cup, a skateboarding competition. The skate park was designed by professional skateboarders Chris Cole, Geoff Rowley and Steve Rodriguez, and constructed by California Skateparks. It was built on the site of the Astral Fountain from the 1964 World's Fair.
By the early 2000s, the park had become the residence of a number of homeless people, who received attention after five abducted, raped, and threatened to kill a woman who had been sitting with her partner at Mets–Willets Point, a nearby subway station.
The $66.3 million Flushing Meadows Natatorium, encompassing an Olympic-sized public indoor pool and an NHL regulation-sized skating rink, opened in 2008. The facility, utilized by schools, leagues and community members of all ages, is the largest recreation complex in any New York City park, at 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2). The complex incorporates features for the physically disabled.
The layout of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park retains much of Gilmore D. Clarke and Michael Rapuano's Beaux-Arts planning from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. The northern section of the park, the former fair grounds, revolves around large paved pathways which during the fairs led to focal points such as pavilions, fountains and sculptures. The Trylon and Perisphere, and later Unisphere, were placed at the main axial point. The Unisphere and Queens Museum currently sit at the west end of the main promenade. Near the center of the promenade (called Herbert Hoover Promenade on the north side, and Dwight D. Eisenhower Promenade on the south side) are the Fountains of the Fairs, which sit in the median of the paths. At the far east end is the Fountain of the Planets, originally called the Pool of Industry. This layout was used to guide fair goers to exhibits. The layout was based on Gian Lorenzo Bernini's plan for St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. The main promenade, measuring 2,500 feet (760 m), was provisionally called the "Cascade Mall" during its construction, and later named the "Constitution Mall" during the first fair. Many former exhibit and pavilion sites have since been replaced with soccer fields (artificial turf or dirt and grass), while others have been left as open grass fields.
The southern portion of the park is largely occupied by Meadow and Willow Lake. The two lakes, along with the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets in the former fair grounds, are fed by the Flushing River, which flows north through both lakes and underneath the fountain as a subterranean river towards Flushing Bay. The two lakes are connected by a narrow channel, forming a peninsula in between the lakes. During the 1939 Fair, Meadow Lake was temporarily named "Fountain Lake" and "Liberty Lake". The land around Meadow Lake contains much of the park's true "parkland", with open grass, picnic and grilling areas, and baseball and cricket fields. During the fairs, the land on the north shore and part of the eastern shore of the lake was used as an amusement area, with large parking lots added on the east and west shores for the 1964 Fair. The lots were removed and converted to parkland after the 1964 Fair. The Willow Lake area of the park is a nature reserve, and is not regularly open to the public. The area around Willow Lake originally also contained sports fields and park trails, until it was fenced off and turned into a preserve in 1976.
The park is entirely circumscribed by highways constructed by Robert Moses. Its eastern boundary is formed by the Van Wyck Expressway. The south and west ends of the park are bound by the Grand Central Parkway, with the Kew Gardens Interchange situated at the southernmost point. The northern edge of the park is bound by the expressway portion of Northern Boulevard (New York State Route 25A) which connects the Grand Central and the Whitestone Expressway. The park is bisected by the Long Island Expressway, at the approximate south end of the former Corona Ash Dumps, which separate the northern and southern halves of the park. Jewel Avenue and its interchange with the Grand Central further separate the southern section into two halves, containing Meadow and Willow Lake respectively. Access to the park is limited due to a lack of public transportation reaching many areas of the site, and presence of the highways at the perimeters of the park separating the site from local neighborhoods. The park also has very few formal entrances from local neighborhoods, a vestige of the World's Fairs which required controlled access.
Studies by various groups have separated the park into a different number of sections. A study by the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation divides the park into three areas: the "historic core" (former World's Fair grounds), Meadow Lake, and Willow Lake. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan divides the park into a total of seven "zones": the Marina along Flushing Bay (containing the World's Fair Marina), the "Sport Center" (containing Citi Field and the USTA), "West Park" (a small section extending west of the Grand Central Parkway and the fair grounds, housing the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Zoo), the "Recreation & Garden Botanical Area" (extending east of the fair grounds along the Kissena Creek corridor, housing the Queens Botanical Garden), the "Historic World's Fair Core Area", Meadow Lake, and Willow Lake.
Currently, the two lakes and the remainder of Flushing Creek are separated by a flood gate or dam called the "Porpoise Bridge" or "Tide Gate Bridge", located just south of the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch trestle, at the north end of the Flushing Meadows Golf Center. The dam only permits northward flows towards Flushing Bay to pass, while blocking south-flowing waters. As its name implies, the dam also acts as a bridge, carrying pedestrian and vehicular traffic over the creek. It measures 37 feet (11 m) wide and 370 feet (110 m) long. The lakes are fed by groundwater.
Prior to human development, Flushing Meadows was originally a tidal marsh, with Flushing Creek receiving south-flowing waters from the tides of Flushing Bay. Although the lakes were built as freshwater lakes and dammed to mitigate tidal effects, flooding continues to effect the park. The lakes are also highly eutrophic, due to nutrients such as phosphorus from the former marshland seeping into the water, leading to the death of fish in the lakes. The regular tidal action that would filter the lakes is prevented by the dam. In addition, the lakes are subject to pollution and storm runoff from the nearby highways, via pipes which feed into the lakes.
Because of its connection with Flushing Bay, several fish species native to marine habitats regularly swim into and inhabit Meadow and Willow Lakes. Fish species native to Meadow Lake include American eel, Largemouth bass, Northern snakehead (an invasive species), and White mullet. Willow Lake is named for the many species of Willow plants which inhabit the area. Invasive Phragmites are also abundant. Attempts to kill the phragmites with pesticides have led to further fish kill. Numerous berry-producing trees and shrubs near Willow Lake attract several migratory bird species. The biodiversity of the lakes has been found to be much lower than other water bodies of comparable size.
Near the northern end of the park, adjacent to Willets Point is the "Sport Center" zone. The US Open tennis tournament is held in this sector. In 2006, the tennis center was named USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after professional tennis player Billie Jean King. Its center court is Arthur Ashe Stadium, and its secondary stadium court is Louis Armstrong Stadium. Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets since 2009, sits at the far north end of the park. Shea Stadium, the Mets' previous home and prior host to the New York Jets football team, once stood adjacent to the area now hosting Citi Field.
In addition to the existing stadiums, several other sports venues have been proposed for the park. In the 1950s, Flushing Meadows was one of several proposed sites for the relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers, until the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. A racing circuit to host a Formula One grand prix event was proposed for New York City, with one of the potential circuits to be built around Meadow Lake, first for the 1975 season, and later for the 1983 season. The plans were opposed by the local community and environmental groups, and the race was postponed and ultimately cancelled by 1985. One of the alternate sites, the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, would host the Meadowlands Grand Prix Champ Car event in 1984. Also in the 1980s, the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL) proposed to relocate to the park, with a new stadium to be built in Willets Point adjacent to Shea Stadium. The plans dissolved when the USFL folded in 1985. Shortly afterwards, the New York Jets rejected a plan to take over the proposed stadium. In the 2010s, a Major League Soccer stadium was proposed in the park after MLS founded New York City FC, the New York area's second soccer team. After examining several sites in the New York area, New York City FC finally decided on building its proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park by 2016, deeming the park as the only viable location for a stadium. The stadium, which would have been located on the site of the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets, was heavily opposed by the community, which forced the team to change its plans and play at Yankee Stadium for an unspecified amount of time.
Rental boats are available for rowing and paddleboating on the park's Meadow Lake. Meadow Lake is the site of rowing activities for non-profit Row New York, with teams practicing on the lake for much of the year. Meadow Lake also hosts the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York, and teams from New York practice in Meadow Lake during the summer months. The American Small Craft Association (TASCA) also houses a fleet of over a dozen 14.5-foot sloop-rigged sailboats, used for teaching, racing, and recreation by the club's members. Bicycling paths extend around Meadow Lake and connect to the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway. Paths around Willow Lake, the smaller and higher of the two lakes, are currently closed to the public. The many recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the wide ethnic mix of Queens; soccer and cricket are especially popular.
Some World's Fair buildings continued to be in use after the 1964 Fair. The Flushing Meadows Carousel, opened as part of the 1964 Fair, operates in the northwestern part of the park. The New York Hall of Science, founded during the 1964 World's Fair, was one of the country's first science museums and still operates in its original location at the park's northern corner. The New York State Pavilion, constructed as the state's exhibit hall for the same World's Fair, is also a feature of the park. However, no new use for the building was found after the Fair, and the structure sits derelict and decaying, although it was repainted yellow in 2015. Next to the New York State Pavilion is the Queens Theatre in the Park, originally the 1964 Fair's "Theaterama" attraction, which moved into its current building in 1993. Terrace on the Park, a banquet and catering facility, was originally the 1964 World's Fair's official helipad. The Queens Museum, housed in the former headquarters of the United Nations General Assembly, was adapted as the 1964 Fair's New York City Pavilion building. After the fair, it was subdivided into the Queens Center for Art and an ice-skating rink, the latter of which was removed when the museum was expanded in 2013.
Other buildings remained for a while after the 1964 Fair's conclusion to see if a new use for them could be found, but were subsequently demolished. This included the Travel and Transportation Pavilion, destroyed in 1967 after a failed conversion to a firehouse, and the Federal Pavilion, demolished in 1977 after great deterioration. One such parcel became the site of the Playground for All Children, one of the first playgrounds designed to include handicapped-accessible activities. The design competition for the playground was won by architect Hisham N. Ashkouri; the facility was completed in 1984, and it was refurbished and reopened in 1997.
This park also contains three Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) maintenance facilities: the Jamaica subway yard, the Corona subway yard, and the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. The Jamaica Yard is located at the very south end of the park site, beyond Willow Lake, while the Corona Yard and Casey Stengel Depot are located across from Citi Field.
Subway and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service both serve this park's northern end. The IRT Flushing Line subway station at Mets–Willets Point serves the 7 <7> trains, and the LIRR station of the same name serves the Port Washington Branch. These stations are located the northern end of the park adjacent to the Corona Yard and bus depot, primarily serving Citi Field and the USTA. The 111th Street station is located just outside the park grounds, serving the Hall of Science. The Q48, Q58, Q64 and Q88 buses all travel through the park, but only the Q48 stops within the park perimeter, serving Citi Field and the USTA. The Q58 and Q88 stop outside either side of the park and cross the park via the Horace Harding Expressway. The Q64 crosses the park along Jewel Avenue/69th Road.
In popular culture
The "Valley of Ashes" described in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is a fictional location said to have been inspired by the site of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park when it was still a dump, as well as by nearby Willets Point.
In the 1997 movie Men in Black, the saucer-shaped restaurants atop the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion were portrayed as real alien UFOs used as a display to disguise its appearance to the public. Edgar the bug attempts to use one to escape the planet, but not before being shot down by the agents, when it then attempts to climb aboard the second ship but is stopped by Jay, who tricks it into coming back down. Scenes for the 2012 film Men in Black 3 were also filmed at Flushing Meadows. That film features a scene that recreates Shea Stadium, demolished in 2009, during the 1969 World Series.
- Foderaro, Lisa W. (May 31, 2013). "How Big Is That Park? City Now Has the Answer". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- Honan, Katie (February 11, 2014). "Suit Seeks to Quash Willets West Mall Project". DNA Info. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
- Ted Steinberg (July 21, 2015). Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York. Simon and Schuster. pp. 209–225. ISBN 978-1-4767-4128-4.
- "Bill Adds 'Corona' to Fair Site's Name". The New York Times. February 5, 1964. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Appendix: The History of Flushing Meadows Corona Park" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- "STAGE 1A ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT; SHEA STADIDM REDEVELOPMENT FLUSHING MEADOWS - CORONA PARK" (PDF). nyc.gov. Historical Perspectives, Inc. October 2001.
- "PHASE I-A ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPACT REPORT for the SPORTSPLEX PROJECT" (PDF). Historical Perspectives. August 22, 1985. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Siegel, Sarah (2006). "Flushing the Meadows – relaxing a post-World’s Fair urban landscape" (PDF). International Federation of Landscape Architects. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
- Mankiewicz, Paul S.; Mankiewicz, Julie A. (June 2002). "Ecological Engineering and Restoration Study Flushing Meadows Lakes and Watershed" (PDF). The Gaia Institute. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: History". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Kenneth T. Jackson; Lisa Keller; Nancy Flood (December 1, 2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press. pp. 5716–. ISBN 978-0-300-18257-6.
- Natural Resources Group. "Natural Area Mapping and Inventory of Spring Creek 1988 Survey" (PDF). New York City Parks Department. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: World's Fair Marina". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Vincent F. Seyfried (1986). Corona: From Farmland to City Suburb, 1650–1935. publisher not identified. pp. 66–70. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- La Guardia International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Airport Access Program, Automated Guideway Transit System (NY, NJ): Environmental Impact Statement. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, New York State Department of Transportation. June 1994.
- "Paragraphs of Interest" (PDF). Newtown Register. Fultonhistory.com. September 28, 1911. p. 4. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
The announcement made this week that the contractors who have filled in the Flushing meadows intend to develop the water front ...
- "WILLETS POINT Development: Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement; Chapter 1: Project Description" (PDF). New York City Economic Development Corporation. March 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Tomorrow's World: The New York World's Fairs and Flushing Meadows Corona Park" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. June 26, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Work at Fair Site Begins Without Ceremony; 700 Job-Seekers on Hand, 500 to Be Hired". The New York Times. June 16, 1936. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "WAR DECLARED UPON RATS.; Extermination of Pests in Corona and Elmhurst Ordered by Copeland.". The New York Times. November 4, 1920. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Health Department Wars on Mosquitos; Great Number of Pests Laid to Heavy Rains". The New York Times. August 20, 1925. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Smoke Nuisance Charge: Case Against Brooklyn Ash Removal Company Is Adjourned". The New York Times. September 14, 1923. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Ash Company Held on Nuisance Charge: Special Sessions Court to Act on Maintenance of Corona Meadows Smudge" (PDF). Brooklyn Standard Union. Fultonhistory.com. September 26, 1923. p. 14. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "PLAN GOLF COURSES IN CORONA MEADOWS; Brooklyn Owners to Convert Land Into a Sport Centre.". The New York Times. July 22, 1929. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Robert A. Caro (1974). The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-48076-3.
- 30 Years of Progress: 1934–1965 (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. June 9, 1964. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
- Schumach, Murray (June 4, 1967). "MOSES GIVES CITY FAIR SITE AS PARK; Flushing Meadows in Queens Becomes the 2d Biggest Recreation Area Here". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Harvey Asked to Make Park Out Of Dump: Community Councils Suggest Development of Wasteland" (PDF). Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. September 11, 1929. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "ASKS NEW CITY PARKS TO COST $20,000,000; Metropolitan Conference Urges Prompt Purchases, Chiefly in Queens and Richmond. BERRY GETS HONOR SCROLL Calls for a 'Normal' Pace in Public Projects and Predicts Agency to Coordinate Them.". The New York Times. February 26, 1930. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
- "CITY ASH REMOVAL HALTED BY COURT; Brooklyn Company Gets Stay to Prevent Municipality Operating Its Plants". The New York Times. December 30, 1933. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "CITY NOW REMOVING ASHES IN BROOKLYN; Company's Agreement to Drop Suit Speeds Municipal Operation of Three Plants.". The New York Times. January 9, 1934. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Soper, George R. (March 18, 1934). "DISPOSAL OF WASTE AN URGENT PROBLEM; Supreme Court Order Against Dumping at Sea Points the Need for Incinerators READY FOR DUMPING". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "ASH COMPANY VALUE UNDER CITY INQUIRY; Proposed Purchase of Brooklyn Concern Brings Charge of $1,000,000 'Hijacking' Plan.". The New York Times. February 10, 1934. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Lawrence Playground". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows-Corona Park: Historic Preservation Studio". Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. May 3, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
- "Great World Fair for City in 1939 on Site In Queens;...City to Lend New Park". The New York Times. September 23, 1935. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- Sergey Kadinsky (March 7, 2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. Countryman Press. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
- "Landmarks Preservation Commission: Unisphere" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. May 16, 1995. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Unisphere". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- "VAST QUEENS PARK RISING ON FAIR SITE". The New York Times. December 6, 1936. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "'Cut and Fill' Grading of World's Fair Site Reported More Than One-Third Complete". The New York Times. October 11, 1936. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Task of Filling World's Fair Site Will Be Pushed Night and Day; Moving of 7,000,000 Cubic Yards of Ashes and Soil Will Be in Full Swing Next Week -- Two Lakes to Be Dug as Part of Work to Last Till Next March.". The New York Times. July 8, 1936. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Sullivan, Michael (January 4, 1962). "Garbage Dump Today, Park Tomorrow" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- "Ready to Turn Fair Into Park; Moses Tells Mayor His Plans Are Set" (PDF). The Sun (New York). Fultonhistory.com. August 15, 1940. p. 14. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadow" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. July 13, 1949. p. 4. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Markland, John (February 9, 1941). "Park Rising on Fair Site: New Skating Rinks Are First Development in A Vast Project". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Moses Seeks $134,073 For Meadow Park Pay" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. February 15, 1941. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Pool to be Opened on Aquacade Site". The New York Times. July 14, 1941. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Building History". Queens Museum. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
- "FOUL LOT TO FAIR: A SAGA BY MOSES". The New York Times. April 11, 1966. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- Charlene Mires (April 8, 2015). Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations. New York University Press. ISBN 978-1-4798-3375-7. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- The Panorama of the City of New York Archived March 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Queens Museum of Art. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Moses, Robert (July 14, 1964). Flushing Meadow and Beyond; Post World's Fair Program; Progress Report (PDF). New York World's Fair 1964–1965 Corporation. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
- Hoffman, Paul (August 28, 1967). "PARK IN FLUSHING GETS TOP PRIORITY; Heckscher Hopes to Make It the 'Park of the Century'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Huxtable, Ada Louise (August 12, 1967). "Flushing Meadows Park Plan Delayed by Auditing; AUDITING DELAYS PARK IN FLUSHING". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Weiss, Samuel (September 10, 1972). "Future of the Fair Site Still Debated". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Shaman, Diana (December 3, 1978). "In Corona, They Look for a Lift From Tennis". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Coakley, Michael (August 24, 1984). "'64 Flushing Meadows fair site becomes $1 billion wasteland". Chicago Tribune. New York City. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "U.S. Open Site Goes Public for '78". The New York Times. May 28, 1977. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Thrasher, Steven (May 18, 2010). "Maloof Money Brings NYC a Massive Skate Party, and a Free Park". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Fischler, Jacob (June 10, 2010). "Queens tweaks its wheels at first skate tourney". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Mehring, Jonathon. "Tribute to NYC street skating: Testing Out Flushing Meadows". X Games. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Remizowski, Leigh (April 4, 2010). "Skate park to replace World's Fair relic Astral Fountain in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Feuer, Alan (March 25, 2011). "Who Calls Central Park Home? Census Counts 25". The New York Times.
- Wilson, Michael (December 28, 2002). "Squalid Site of Queens Rape Unnoticed by Public Nearby". The New York Times.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park". nycgovparks.org.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Conceptual Framework" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Dunlap, David W. (August 26, 2001). "A Queens Park's Past Shapes Its Future". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Data Sources, physical Conditions & Assessments" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Conceptual Framework" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Andrew F. Wood (2004). New York's 1939–1940 World's Fair. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-3585-2. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Vision & Goals" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Loeb, August (October 27, 1940). "Fine Park From Fair: Flushing Meadow's New Play Area Will Be 'Second to None'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Bill Cotter; Bill Young (January 20, 2014). The 1964–1965 New York World's Fair. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4396-4214-6. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- Alden, Robert (August 11, 1965). "A LEGACY OF FAIR: UNWANTED RELICS; Exhibitors Are Required to Raze Pavilions, but 13 Have Gone Bankrupt". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Colangelo, Lisa L. (November 24, 2014). "Something is fishy in Flushing Meadows Corona Park's Willow Lake where scores of fish are dying". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan; Vision & Goals" (PDF). New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- "Request for Proposals: Porpoise Bridge" (PDF). New York City Department of Design and Construction. May 8, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- "Meadow Lake". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Willow Lake Trail". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Willow Lake Park - Invasive Phragmites". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Sandomir, Richard (August 3, 2006). "ennis Center to Be Named for Billie Jean King". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Fetter, Henry D. (August 14, 2005). "The Queens Dodgers?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- Katz, Michael (September 15, 1974). "New York Grand Prix Project Considered Again —At Flushing Meadow Park But With a Lot of Ifs". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- "New York May Get '83 Auto Grand Prix". The New York Times. October 28, 1982. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "New York Grand Prix scheduled". Reading Eagle. UPI. October 28, 1982. pp. 41, 47. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "No auto racing in New York". Boca Raton News. June 3, 1983. p. 2D. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- Purnick, Joyce (June 27, 1985). "AUTO RACE IN QUEENS CALLED OFF". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Harris, Mike (June 29, 1984). "U.S. Grand Prix success is vital to CART future". Daily News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. AP. p. 1–B. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "Real estate developer Donald Trump has proposed building an ...". United Press International. New York. December 11, 1984. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- Eskenazi, Gerald (February 7, 1986). "Jets Will Remain in New Jersey". The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Meislin, Richard J. (April 11, 1987). "Plans for Domed Stadium in Queens in Doubt". The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- David Picker (December 5, 2012). "M.L.S. Promotes Stadium at a Town Hall Meeting". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Leight, Holly (May 13, 2013). "Be Our Guest: Major League Soccer Stadium Would Pollute Flushing Meadows-Corona Park". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Carlisle, Jeff (May 21, 2013). "Many Questions Surround Stadium Plans, NYC FC". ESPN. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Bradley, Jeff (April 21, 2014). "NYCFC Announces Plans to Play at Yankee Stadium; No Timetable Given for Stay". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- "Strokes of Genius". United Federation of Teachers.
- "About TASCA". The American Small Craft Association. TASCA. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2008. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy: mission.
- Kilgannon, Corey (September 12, 2010). "CITY ROOM; Sweat; Wide World of Sports in a Queens Park". The New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round Like a Carousel ...". WNET. March 7, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- Walter Sullivan (September 22, 1966). "Hopeful Future Museum; But City's Hall of Science Still Retains Aura Reminiscent of the World's Fair". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
- Associated Press (April 4, 2014). "'Men in Black' towers could be torn down: Debate rages over fate of spaceship-like landmarks". Daily Mail. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Colangelo, Lisa L. (May 5, 2015). "Iconic New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park getting $3 million facelift - FOR FREE". New York Daily News. NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- Ruiz, Albor (July 21, 1997). "Swing Thru Latin America Via Fest". NY Daily News. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park" New York Magazine, December 11, 2015
- "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Highlights - Terrace on the Park". NYC Parks. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- Cotter, Holland (November 7, 2013). "A Local Place for a Global Neighborhood". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- Cotter, Bill; Young, Bill (January 1, 2008). The 1964–1965 New York World's Fair: Creation and Legacy. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 113–115. ISBN 978-0-7385-5745-8.
- "Playground for All Children". NYC Parks. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
- "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Corona" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Flushing" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "Mayor: Valley of Ashes in 'Great Gatsby' Was Inspired by Willets Point". WNYC. June 14, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- Hirshon, Nicholas (June 7, 2011). "'Men in Black III' crews turn the clock back to the 1960s in Queens". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- "Men In Black 3 - Compositing Shea Stadium". YouTube. Sony Pictures Imageworks. February 26, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Burrell, Jackie (September 29, 2014). "'Amazing Race' recap: Pearly whites, pen-swiping and pirates". The Mercury News. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.|
Entities within the park: