KATELYN DI SALVO
Borough President Melinda Katz is saying yes to saving the iconic New York State Pavilion.
The NYC Parks Department released plans last fall for both restoring and potentially tearing down the deteriorating 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair figure.
Cost estimates to fix the Pavilion, which includes the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow, start at $43 million.
An option to knock it down would cost about $14 million.
During a tour of the site on Thursday in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Katz said that $14 million should be spent on repairing, not destroying, it.
“Let’s take that money and put it towards this project,” she said.
Other local politicians, civic and cultural leaders, community board members and Parks Department officials joined Katz on the tour to get a closer look at the site.
Repairs include the cable roof system in the Tent of Tomorrow, the concrete columns and stabilization of the wood pilings in the Tent, as well as basic utility work, said Meira Berkower, director of planning for the Parks Department.
Katz said she will be forming a task force, consisting of elected officials, community leaders and advocates, who will meet regularly at Queens Borough Hall to create a plan for the Pavilion’s future.
“Give me a month to figure out the ‘who what where and when,’” she said, adding it’s important to restore the outside for “safety reasons.”
People For the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, is excited about the participation of the borough president and other local electeds in the project.
“Moving forward, we want to continue to raise the profile of the building and educate the community, said People for the Pavilion member Matthew Silva. “We will be doing public programming celebrating its 50th anniversary so people can see what happened here 50 years ago.”
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