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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
It looks like the New York State Pavilion, the 1964 World’s Fair landmark that’s decaying away, is in for a brighter future. A Crain’s reporter chatted with Borough President Melinda Katz, who has spoken against demolishing the structures. And according to Crain’s, Katz “found about $1 million in her borough budget to upgrade the electrical systems in the pavilion so it can light up the night’s skyline from Flushing Meadows Corona Park as brightly as the steel Unisphere globe now does.” She believes that once the towers are lit up, there will be more momentum to restore the pavilion. (A restoration, with no public access, is estimated to cost around $40,000,000.) There are no details on when this would actually happen, but we’d sure like to see the plan become a reality.
It looks like the research team from the University of Central Florida and the company CyArk began their 3D scan of the New York State Pavilion. After the scan, researchers plan to stitch together 50 to 60 images of the pavilion to capture details and make them available online. The team will work from ground level, while the 3-D scanners are located on tripods around the structure. CyArk — a nonprofit that specializes in digital preservation — tagged along with University of Central Florida because they recently raised $15,000 on KickStarter to take on the project.
From June 2nd to June 6th, Lori Walters, a researcher from the University of Central Florida, will visit Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to create a three-dimensional scan of the New York State Pavilion. The Wall Street Journal shares details: “The researchers will place high-speed 3-D laser scanners, each about the size of a football, atop tripods around the structure. Dr. Walters plans to stitch together about 50 to 60 images, with scanning lasting as long as half an hour in some parts, to capture the detail of the pavilion.” The pavilion will be scanned from the ground; researchers will not be allowed to scale the three towers, which rise 60, 150 and 226 feet. In the end, the goal is to preserve the image of the deteriorating icon and ultimately create a virtual tour to post online.
Dr. Walters plans to scan the pavilion no matter what, but there’s also a KickStarter campaign underway for the non-profit CyArk to join her and her team. CyArk digitally scanned more than 130 historic sites around the world since its inception in 2003. So far they raised a little more than $8,000 of their $15,000 goal, with three days to go.