CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND MAGGIE HAYES
Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the iconic, yet crumbling figure is in need of both internal and external repairs.
In November, the Parks Department released plans to restore the Pavilion, with cost estimates, as well as an option to tear it down for approximately $14 million.
One of the restoration plans could cost as high as $73 million.
Architectural firm Perkins + Will created an “adaptive reuse” concept, which would modify the site and add event spaces and landscaped paths.
Another option would stabilize the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow for $43 million, prohibiting public access.
A plan from the Parks Department to stabilize the towers would replace perimeter walls, elevator shafts and equipment, and bring all electrical up to code.
Matthew Silva, a member of People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, countered that plan and said that “certainly stabilizing it is something that is nice, but then it’s not something that can be utilized.”
A tentative plan to restore the Pavilion to again include access to the Tent and Towers, will climb to about $52 million.
People for the Pavilion feels the “best action would be to make it an institution, a cultural center that can be used for future generations,” said Silva.
The Parks Department will be giving a presentation on the recent structural studies that were completed on the Tent of Tomorrow and Towers during three meetings.
They will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.to 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave., Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The Parks Department is inviting people to “come and share [their] vision for the future of the Pavilion.”
Following the meetings, a questionnaire will be posted on the Parks Department website to get feedback from people who were not able to attend, a Parks spokesperson said. The Parks Department will then meet with elected officials to discuss funding options.
People for the Pavilion, which would like to form a coalition of individuals and organizations interested in the preservation of the Pavilion, will be holding its own presentation on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Queens Theatre about the “structures’ past and present, before meeting others interested in its future.” The presentation is free and open to the public. RSVP‘s are requested but not required.
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