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It was one of the most memorable venues of the 1964 World’s Fair. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson, the New York State Pavilion featured the elliptical Tent of Tomorrow, whose 16 100-foot-high reinforced concrete piers suspended a 50,000-square-foot roof of multi-colored panels. The main floor featured a ground map of New York State with 567 terrazzo mosaic panels.

Meanwhile, the Theaterama, located adjacent to the pavilion, displayed art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and the three nearby observation towers boasted elevators leading to high-altitude platforms.

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03/25/15 2:00pm

Check out this awesome video from Matthew Silva and AquaRela Pictures of the second lighting test held at the New York State Pavilion. The first test was held in late February.

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. The hope is that the illumination will draw attention to the historic World’s Fair structures and help raise interest for restoration and reuse.

All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

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On Sunday, a group of five teens climbed 226 feet up some seriously scary staircases to the top of the New York State Pavilion. A Walk in the Park reports that after they broke in, they spray painted the structure as they made their way to the top. Officers spotted the teens and then discovered pink, teal and black graffiti tags as the officers themselves ascended to the top. And here’s the terrifying end to the story: “Officers had to use a make-shift ladder made of electrical cords in order to reach the highest peak of observation deck to reach the teens.” YIKES!

No one was hurt, and two young men were arrested and charged with trespassing and possession of a graffiti instrument.

Ski-High Graffiti Bust: Teens Caught On Top Of Flushing Meadows Corona Park Worlds Fair Towers [A Walk in the Park]
All New York State Pavilion coverage [Q'Stoner]

“Death Staircase” photo by Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates

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]