Tag Archives: Tent of Tomorrow

NYS Pavilion to get free paint job


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Updated Wednesday, May 6, 1:30 p.m. 

The city Parks Department and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced Wednesday morning the latest efforts to spruce up the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Katz and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver will herald a new partnership with two local labor unions — the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association and the International Union of Painting and Allied Trades Local 806 District 9 — to repaint the upper portions of the Tent of Tomorrow, the elliptical steel building in the shadow of the pavilion’s space needles.

“Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Tent of Tomorrow is an iconic symbol of Queens, but we haven’t been able to give it the treatment it deserves until now,” Silver said. “Thanks to a partnership with the Structural Steel Painters Union, the building is being restored and beautified so that it may remain a source of pride for the entire borough, and a reminder of the World’s Fairs, for years to come.”

The new paint system of the pavilion, which is expected to be completed by this fall, will serve as a protective coating and extend the life of the structure by at least 15 years.

The $3 million effort will be undertaken free of charge through a painting apprenticeship program operated by the unions, allowing painters to gain work experience.

“Due to the tremendous generosity of Painters DC 9 and the Painting Contractors Association, the pavilion will be refreshed with a new coat of paint,” Katz said. “We’re working hard to save this architectural marvel, and the facelift is a great boon to our efforts. We will restore this national treasure into a visible icon befitting the ‘World’s Borough’ for generations of families and visitors to enjoy.”

In recent years, local volunteers and historians have advocated for refurbishing the pavilion, one of the last remaining fixtures of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The pavilion’s space needles served as observation decks, while the Tent of Tomorrow — once featuring a stained-glass roof and a terrazzo tile roadmap of New York State — was an entertainment venue.

The Tent of Tomorrow was used sporadically for years after the fair’s conclusion, but fell into disrepair along with the rest of the pavilion over the last few decades.

Full restoration of the pavilion is estimated to cost at least $43 million, according to a Parks Department announcement last November. Katz, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have already secured a combined $6 million in funds to repair the towers and its electrical infrastructure.

A group of volunteers also formed the New York State Pavilion Paint Project to provide short-term renovations while Katz and other city officials worked on a long-term plan for the pavilion’s rehabilitation.

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NYS Pavilion recognized as ‘National Treasure’ on World’s Fair anniversary


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

The New York State Pavilion, a surviving relic of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, was named a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the famed event.

Following the recognition on Tuesday, the Parks Department opened the Pavilion to the public for the first time for decades. The Pavilion recently received a fresh coat of paint from the advocacy group New York State Pavilion Paint Project, but its space-like structures have rusted over and it is in need of repair.

The hope is that the designation, which puts it among nearly 40 other historic places and buildings around the country, would help attract funds — estimated to be at least $43 million — to save it.

“For a long time the future of this building was a question mark,” said Paul Goldberger, a board member of the nonprofit group. “But in time it will not be a question mark at all, I think it will be a different piece of punctuation. It will be a great exclamation point in the middle of a resurgent Queens.”

In its heyday, the Pavilion featured the Tent of Tomorrow, three towers and the Theaterama, which is now the nearby Queens Theatre. When it was constructed, the Tent of Tomorrow had a $1 million map of New York State on its floor, made of 567 mosaic panels weighing 400 pounds each and colorful stained glass panels on its ceiling. Two of the towers had cafeterias for the fair, while the tallest, which stands at 226 feet, was used as an observation deck.

“It’s not what it was,” said Elaine Goldstein of Howard Beach, who visited both 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs. “It’s hurtful to see that it went into disrepair.”

Thousands of people from all walks of life, many of whom had a connection to the Pavilion, walked through the gates with hard hats to tour the aged structure.

“This is the greatest moment of my life,” said Natali Bravo, a resident from Rego Park, who was shooting pictures of the Pavilion with a 1964 Kodak World’s Fair Camera. “This is the first time I’m actually setting foot in here. To actually be photographing this event the way it was meant to be photographed with this camera is a very special thing.”

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Katz commits to restoring NY State Pavilion


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Borough President Melinda Katz, on a tour of the New York State Pavilion Thursday, said she wanted to save the site.

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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Parks Dept. invites community to ‘share vision’ for New York State Pavilion’s future


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of People for the New York State Pavilion Facebook page

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND MAGGIE HAYES 

The city’s Parks Department will be holding meetings this coming week to get feedback from the community on potential plans for the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

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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Millions needed to save New York State Pavilion: Parks Department


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of People for the New York State Pavilion Facebook page

The city’s Parks Department presented plans this week for the crumbling but iconic New York State Pavilion.

An option to tear down the deteriorating 1964-65 World’s Fair figure, which is in need of an inordinate amount of internal and external fixes, could cost $14 million.

But a plan to restore the site could cost $73 million, according to a Parks study.

Architectural firm Perkins + Will created an “adaptive reuse” concept, which would modify the site and add event spaces and landscaped paths.

Parks detailed a plan to stabilize the towers by replacing perimeter walls, elevator shafts and equipment and bringing all electrical up to code.

People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, feels the “best action would be to make it an institution, a cultural center that can be used for future generations,” said member Matthew Silva.

Another option would stabilize the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow for $43 million, prohibiting public access.

Silva countered that plan and said that “certainly stabilizing it is something that is nice, but then it’s not something that can be utilized.”

“We want to advocate for making that part of the park a usable and very lively place. It should be used in a dynamic way,” he said.

Additionally, a tentative plan to restore the Pavilion to again include access to the Tent and Towers, will climb to about $52 million.

Costs quoted for preliminary plans are rough estimates, said a Parks spokesperson. The department will accept feedback at community meetings. Dates will be announced soon.

 

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