03/04/15 1:00pm

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Though last night’s snow might confuse the issue, it’s time for Queens gardeners to start preparing their summer vegetables. This is the key to earlier harvests, greater variety, healthier crops, stronger soil, easier transplanting, and especially more satisfaction and enjoyment.

This Sunday, Queens Botanical Garden Director of Education Emeritus Fred Gerber will host a workshop dedicated to growing indoor vegetables during the warm weather months. There should be something of interest for everybody from the novice to the experienced gardener with the greenest of thumbs. Details on the jump page.

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Yesterday, the New York Landmarks Conservancy posted a video and more details about the lighting test held at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tests are part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers.

Here is the Conservancy talking about the lighting process, which was first posted on its Facebook page. You can see the awesome video of the light tests over on Facebook as well.

On Friday, February 27, Conservancy staffers Alex Herrera and Scott Leurquin, met with Barry Grodenchik of the Queens Borough President’s office, Brian Belluomini of Shimstone Lighting Design, and Matt Torres of Lumenpulse to test various exterior lighting techniques on the majestic New York State Pavilion observation towers.

The consultants experimented with various size LED floodlights placed around the site including from the roof of the adjacent Queens Theatre. The tests showed that the LED lights can do a great job of illuminating the concrete surfaces of the towers. We hope that the eventual illumination of the structures will draw attention to them and help raise interest for a restoration and reuse. The New York State Pavilion consists of three structures: the Queens Theatre, which has been restored; the huge tent structure and the triple observation towers that await restoration. The buildings were commissioned by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and designed by Phillip Johnson for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Let There Be Light at the New York State Pavilion [Q'Stoner]

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Last week brought a little light to the New York State Pavilion, a prominent landmark of the 1964-65 World’s Fair that is now sitting unused. The Queens Theatre, Parks Department and the New York Landmarks Conservancy came together to light up the iconic towers — the first-ever lighting test was held on Friday night. This is part of a $5,806,000 restoration slated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers. Borough President Katz especially pushed to bring lighting to the tower. She believes that once lit up, there will be more momentum to restore the crumbling pavilion. A full restoration of the structure, that still wouldn’t allow any public access, is estimated to cost around $40 million.

The photo above was taken by the New York Landmarks Convservancy and was first posted by People for the Pavilion. Check out two more photos after the jump!

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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Today Untapped Cities published an excellent photo essay in which People for the Pavilion member Robert Fein captured the inside of the New York State Pavilion. Crumbling since the 1964 World’s Fair, there has been momentum to repair and rehabilitate the iconic towers. Fein’s photos offer a look inside of the observation towers, with closeups of the former VIP deck, the elevator doors, staircases and the amazing views of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

New Photos Inside the Observation Towers of the NY Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park [Untapped Cities]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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This Saturday, November 1st, People for the Pavilion and Architecture for Humanity are setting up information tables around the borough to talk with Queens residents on the past and present of the New York State Pavilion. Reps will be asking passerby what they know about the historic structure and what they’d like it to become. Currently, People for the Pavilion is working to revitalize the towers for community use, with growing support from politicians. If you’d like to stop by and share your thoughts, tables will be out in Diversity Plaza, 37th Road between 73rd and 74th Streets, Corona Plaza, Roosevelt Avenue between National Street and 104th Street, and Queens Library: Flushing, 47-17 Main Street, from 11 am to 3 pm.

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via People for the Pavilion

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On October 13th, Arcadia Publishing will release “New York State Pavilion,” a book by Flushing native Christian Kellberg that explores the Pavilion’s history through photographs. The book depicts over 200 images of the World’s Fair icon, which has since fallen into serious disrepair. (There are, however, improvements in the works due to a major campaign to restore the structure.) “New York State Pavilion” will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers, or online through Arcadia Publishing.

The author is a long-time Pavilion supporter and volunteered with the New York State Pavilion Paint Project. According to the organization People for the Pavilion, he hopes the book “calls more attention to the New York State Pavilion helping to promote and rescue this landmark structure after years of neglect.”

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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This week we got some bad news regarding the New York State Pavilion, but today better news emerged. Governor Cuomo recently announced he is allocating a total of $5,000,000 to help repair 14 historically significant properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo awarded $127,000 for repairs to the New York State Pavilion, the single property selected in Queens. Here are details on the repairs to come:

$127,000 to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation for a conditions assessment of damage to the NYS Pavilion cable roof structure to determine the impact of Sandy and develop cost estimates for stabilization; basic repairs may also be undertaken. The NYS Pavilion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with national significance as a landmark of American engineering and was one of most highly acclaimed structures at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

These funds are in addition to the $5,806,000 allocated to upgrade the structure’s electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers. As People for the Pavilion said of the recent news, “The continued support from elected officials for the preservation of the Pavilion is extremely encouraging. PFP will continue to work with our partners at the local, city, state, and national levels to develop a sustainable reuse plan for the Pavilion, and to encourage further support for the structure.”

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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Last weekend, vandals broke into the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park. The Daily News reports that they set fire to a stolen van. They also set fire to the tarp that covers the terrazzo map of New York State, embedded into the floor of the Tent of Tomorrow. Finally, they took a cinderblock to smash one side of the map, which is already worse for wear.

Preservationists fighting for the reuse of the iconic World’s Fair structure were devastated, especially considering that the movement for preservation is at an all-time high. (This bad news comes right after Borough President Katz allocated $5,806,000 for improvements for the structure.) Volunteers are considering ways to increase safety at the site and will possibly install an alarm. Pictured above, that’s John Piro of the New York State Pavilion Paint Project and Park Supervisor Vincent Musillo considering the damage to one of the map panels.

Vandals Break Into the Historic New York State Pavilion [NY Daily News]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via the NY Daily News

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There are improvements in the works for the long-abandoned New York State Pavilion, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Yesterday Borough President Melinda Katz sent out a press release announcing that the city allocated a total of $5,806,000 to help restore the Space-Age, Phillip Johnson-designed structure. They money will go toward upgrading the structure’s electrical system (a previous report stated that Katz designated funds to light up the towers), rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers, and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks at the top of each of the towers.

The movement to restore the Pavilion is really gaining traction. Yesterday, the grassroots organization People for the Pavilion announced that it teamed up with the New York Landmarks Conservancy and planned to establish itself as a registered non-profit. Here’s their statement on the news of the restoration: “We urge you to join us in thanking Mayor de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and City Council Speaker and Members for taking the first bold step in breathing new life in to the Pavilion – the iconic symbol of Queens for all New Yorkers and the world. We look forward to working closely with our government officials, local business organizations and community groups, to develop a vibrant community space for the Pavilion. We are especially grateful to Queens Borough President Katz whose leadership on saving the Pavilion has been catalytic.”

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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People for the Pavilion, a grassroots organization aiming to bring the crumbling New York State Pavilion back to life, is going legit. The organization just announced this yesterday:

We’re excited to announce an official partnership with the New York Landmarks Conservancy, who have agreed to serve as our fiscal sponsors while we establish ourselves as a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

The fiscal sponsorship with the Landmarks Conservancy and our eventual establishment as a 501(c)3 will allow us to raise funds to run public programs, and to cover the costs of running an organization working full-time to preserve and reuse the structure.

We have a number of public programs in the works, so stay tuned over the coming weeks for information! You can learn more about the great work of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, at their website here.

Great news! Since the group established early this year, People for the Pavilion helped promote the opening of the iconic structure to the public for a day, and pushed the Parks Department to consider investing in the Pavilion’s future. We can’t wait to see what’s next — lights, perhaps?

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]