The Wall Street Journal put up this great video about the New York State Pavilion Paint Project, a volunteer group who started painting the exterior of the historic 1964 World’s Fair structure back in 2009. The group hopes to raise awareness for the building, as well as inspire fundraising efforts. The group is recognized by the city but does not receive money from them. Recent talks of restoring the pavilion grounds, though, estimate costs as high as $72,000,000.

This group, along with the advocacy group People for the Pavilion, made it possible to open the New York State Pavilion to the public for one day. That will happen on Tuesday, April 22nd between 11 am and 2 pm.

Queens Painters Hope to Bring Awareness to World’s Fair Structures [WSJ]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

04/09/14 1:00pm


The word “LEGO” is a combination of the Danish words “leg godt,” which mean “play well” in English. The original toys were made of wood, but in 1958, the LEGO Group introduced the interlocking brick, which currently comes in various colors, shapes and sizes and has a cult-like following around the world, mesmerizing adults as well as children. On Saturday, these plastic playthings will begin a long run in Queens, when the Museum of the  Moving Image offers 60-minute LEGO animation workshops for children twice a day through April 22nd. Led by a master builder, participants will work in teams to plan and create a stop-motion animated film. The same Astoria venue will screen The LEGO Movie in Dolby Digital 3-D from April 14th through April 18th. This stop-motion animated feature tells the story of Emmet, a perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the “most special, most interesting, most extraordinary person” and the key to saving the world. Meanwhile, the Queens Theatre on April 13th will open Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, a display of World’s Fair structures inspired by expert builder Cody Wells. They will be on exhibit through November 2nd. The Flushing Meadows Corona Park theater will go for more on May 18th with Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, three sessions after which each participant will leave with a mini-model of the New York State Pavilion.

Details for Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria): Master Builder Lego Animation Workshops, April 12th – 22nd, 1:30 pm and 3 pm, daily, $5 materials fee; The LEGO Movie, April 14th-18th, 1 pm daily.

Details for Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park): Iconic Symbols of the 1964 World’s Fair Reimagined — in LEGOs, April 13th – November 2nd, free; Build It!: A LEGO Workshop, May 18th, 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, free.


Top photo: Flickr (notenoughbricks); bottom photo: MMI


It’s a photo op, historic tour and urban spelunking activity. It’s also a celebration of the exact 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair. On April 22nd, the New York State Pavilion (above and below) will open to the public for three hours. Individuals will be able to put on hard hats (which will be provided and required), enter this remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair, and take photos of the interior portion, where the Tent of Tomorrow once stood. The New York State Pavilion Paint Project Crew will be on site to answer questions and talk about the structure’s past, present and future. Later, the Queens Theatre will present When the World Came to Queens, an exhibit featuring rare photos with behind-the-scenes anecdotes written by Bill Cotter, who has the world’s largest private collection of World’s Fair images. Cotter, a frequent attendee during the 1964-65 run, has also written several books, which he will be selling and autographing.

Details: Open Gate Event, meet at north entrance to NYS Pavilion, near Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, April 22nd, 11 am to 2 pm, free.

Bonus details: When the World Came to Queens, Queens Theatre, 14, United Nations Avenue South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, April 22nd, 3 pm and 7 pm, free with $10 suggested donation. 


Photos: People for the Pavilion FB


On Friday, Queens pols gathered at the Queens Museum to announce a number of activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair and 75th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair. At the event, the billionaire supermarket magnate and World’s Fair buff John Catsimatidis told the New York Daily News he’d be willing to fund the restoration of deteriorating World’s Fair relics. He also spoke of Queens hosting a third World’s Fair, although he didn’t have a timeline or plan of action. Overall his plans seem extremely vague: “I’ve certainly been there ready and able to write a check,” he told the News, “I can make it happen. But you need people who have dreams.” If Catsimatidis is looking for people with dreams, he should look no further than People for the Pavilion. The group has worked tirelessly over the past few months to bring awareness to the crumbling New York State Pavilion. In honor of the anniversaries, the pavilion will open to the public on Tuesday, April 22nd.

John Catsimatidis Says he has Cash to Help Ailing World’s Fair Icons if Dreamers Come up with a Bold Plan [NY Daily News]


Exciting news from People for the Pavilion, the organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Here is their announcement this morning:

First and foremost, we’re excited to announce that on Tuesday, April 22, the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the New York State Pavilion, the structure will be opened to the public for the first time in decades thanks to the work of the New York State Pavilion Paint Project Crew, as well as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

On April 22nd Between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, the north gate of the Pavilion will be opened to allow limited access so guests can view and take photos of the inside of the structure. Hardhats are required and will be provided for our visitors, RSVP’s are not required to attend.

Open to the public for the first time in decades — that is awesome news indeed. In recent months, People for the Pavilion have worked closely with the Parks Department, Borough President and the community to figure out a second life for the iconic Philip Johnson design, built for the World’s Fair.

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

Photo via People for the Pavilion


Yesterday the New York Times detailed the recent push to preserve the New York State Pavilion, the crumbling Philip Johnson structure built for the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Helpfully, the article broke down the options and the costs regarding the future of the site: “Parks officials determined that it would cost $14 million simply to demolish the site. Stabilizing the Pavilion so that it would remain as a sort of modern-day ruin, but with no public access, would run $43 million. And restoring the site so that it could once again host visitors would cost $52 million.” (Demolition seems unlikely after an outpouring of support to preserve the structure.) Right now, money is the largest concern before moving forward. An architecture firm, working pro bono, drafted a plan to reutilize the site that cost a hefty $72,000,000.

In Queens, the Fate of a Towering Relic From the 1964 World’s Fair Is Debated [NY Times]
All New York State Pavilion Coverage [Q'Stoner]


Late last week Borough President Melinda Katz visited the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the iconic Queens structure that’s been the topic of discussion recently. The Parks Department is currently looking into working on the site, whether that means outfitting it for a new use, stabilizing it as a ruin, or demolishing it. Borough President Katz, however, made it clear she’d like to see the structure remain standing. According to Queens Chronicle, “Katz emphatically declared her wish to see the pavilion saved while on a walking tour of the site.”

Katz also promised to dedicate a task force within the next month to brainstorm ideas for the site. The Parks Department guesses that it will cost $72,000,000 to restore, while demolition would cost around $14,000,000. Assembly Member Marge Markey hopes that restoration work could be completed within the decade.

Borough President Katz Supports Preserving the New York State Pavilion [Queens Chronicle]

Photo via Facebook

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It seems like everybody’s talking about the future of the now-underutilized New York State Pavilion, in the hopes that it can once again be an asset for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Now it’s your turn to share your vision for the complex! The New York Parks Department released this survey “in order to understand your vision for the future of the Pavilion.” Parks held a series of listening sessions regarding the Pavilion in late January and also presented on recent structural studies that were completed on the Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers. According to People for the Pavilion, there’s an overwhelming consensus so far to preserve and reutilize — rather than tear down — the iconic structures, designed by architect Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair.


This Saturday, the organization People for the Pavilion held an event focused on the future of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. More than 200 people showed up to watch a presentation about the structures’ past and present and to share ideas for potential uses of the now-underutilized site. You can watch a video of the event on Vimeo and read some notes from the day on PftP’s Twitter.

Tomorrow, the Parks Department will hold two more meetings on the Pavilion. The Parks Department plans to take a broader approach to discussing the future of the structure, looking at realities of preservation, stabilization, or possibly demolition. At this point, Parks just wants to know what the community would like to see at the site. Those meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, January 28th, 10am to 12pm and 7pm to 9pm. The location is the Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue South.

Photo via Facebook


The organization People for the Pavilion is aiming to build a coalition of interested parties in the preservation of the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The iconic Queens structure, as is well known, has sat decaying for years now. So on Saturday, January 25th, People for the Pavillion will host an informal gathering to watch a presentation about the structures’ past and present to get ideas for future uses of the site. The goal of PFP, moving forward, is to work directly with Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on public input sessions that give the community a chance to share what they’d like to see happen to the Pavilion.

This event will take place at the Queens Theater at 2pm. It is free and open to the public — you can RSVP here although it isn’t required.