Tag Archives: World’s Fair

Flushing Meadows to hold free World’s Fair Anniversary Festival this June


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A free festival, once again celebrating the 1939-1940 and 1964-1965 World’s Fairs, will be held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park this June with music, food and family-friendly activities.

The Sunday, June 7, event, co-hosted by Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, will also offer the chance to look back at the historic fairs.

There will be displays of World’s Fair memorabilia and vintage cars, a guided World’s Fair history walking tour of the park to learn about the remaining structures and sculptures, and the Queens Museum’s World’s Fair exhibit, according to the Parks Department.

Kids can enjoy rides, including half off on the park’s historic carousel, craft projects, strolling magicians, a visit by Mr. Met and mini tennis clinics by the USTA. Puppets in the Park will also offer two performances of The Tales of Brier Rabbit.

Hungry fairgoers can try international foods at the LIC Flea Food Market, and musics lovers can listen to an eclectic mix of international music performed throughout the afternoon and a SummerStage concert featuring Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Hollis Brown and Damien Escobar.

The 1939-1940 and 1964-1965 World’s Fairs, which each had two seasons, from April to October, ended 75 and 50 years ago this year.

In May 2014, a free World’s Fair Anniversary Festival was also held at Flushing Meadows Park. The event was part of a lineup of events to mark the anniversary of the start of the World’s Fairs, including the opening of the New York State Pavilion to the public for the first time in decades.

The World’s Fair Anniversary Festival will be held on Sunday, June 7, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. near the Unisphere. The SummerStage concert will start at 4 p.m.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Historic yacht club in College Point marks 150th anniversary


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Williamsburgh Yacht Club

From relocation to wars to a massive fire, nothing has stopped the Williamsburgh Yacht Club and its love of all things boating for the last 150 years.

The third-oldest yacht club in New York State and the 11th-oldest in the country will mark another milestone in its rich history this Saturday, as members gather at the College Point institution for a sesquicentennial celebration.

As its name indicates, the Williamsburgh Yacht Club first dropped anchor in Brooklyn, established in 1865 on the Newtown Creek waterfront; it constructed its first clubhouse on the Greenpoint waterfront near Eagle Street, on what was then known as Pottery Beach.

By 1887, club members relocated away from the industrial waterfront to Queens and established a resort on Bowery Bay. Less than 10 years later, Williamsburgh Yacht found itself on the move again, this time to the area then known as North Beach.

An undated picture of the former Williamsburgh Yacht Club headquarters, which was destroyed by fire in 1988. (photo courtesy Williamsburgh Yacht Club)

The North Beach area was ultimately developed into Glen Curtis Airport (later renamed LaGuardia Airport), and the club was on the move again. In 1928, it moved to College Point next to what was then known as the Flushing Boat Club. Williamsburgh Yacht purchased Flushing Boat Club’s property at 118-08 29th Ave. and moved its headquarters there.

Despite constantly relocating on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts, Williamsburgh Yacht established itself in the annals of pleasure boating and yachting, according to club historian Elaine Bauer, a 23-year club member. It hosted the first Ladies Day Regatta in 1898 and was selected in 1939 as the World’s Fair’s official yacht club. The club’s sailing team also was the inaugural winner of the Sechuessele Cup in 1902.

But the club’s survival appeared in doubt in 1988, when flames destroyed the all-wooden clubhouse and deck.

Past Commodores

“The investigators never knew what started the fire,” Bauer said. “It was a two-story wood frame building standing on creosote pilings with creosote shingles.”

Over the next five years, Bauer said, the club’s members worked hard to rebuild from the shore up. The club’s new quarters opened on the College Point waterfront in September 1993 with a gala attended by more than 120 people.

Today, Bauer said, the Williamsburgh Yacht Club continues to promote pleasure boating and other safe water activities such as jet skiing. The club also plans on dispatching a team into the Captain Island Race scheduled this fall in Douglaston.

Fun at the Club 2012

“It’s a working man’s club,” Bauer said, noting that the club members “keep the heritage and history alive” and pass on membership privileges to their relatives. “All of our members really make the club happen.”

Numerous dignitaries, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Senator Tony Avella and City Councilman Paul Vallone, have been invited to the club’s sesquicentennial gala.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

NYS Pavilion documentary to premiere this May at Queens Theatre


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Matthew Silva

More than 50 years after the World’s Fair, the New York State Pavilion is ready for another premiere.

“Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion,” a documentary about the history of the iconic Flushing Meadows Corona Park structure and the efforts to save the neglected relic, will debut to the public at the Queens Theatre this May.

The films tells the story of the pavilion, designed by architect Philip Johnson, from its glory days at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, to its time as a ‘60s concert venue and ‘70s roller rink, to its abandonment and today’s efforts to save and repurpose the structure.

Written, directed and edited by Matthew Silva, with executive producers Jake Gorst and Tracey Rennie Gorst, the documentary tries to make a case for why the pavilion should be kept around and brings to life the story behind the structure.

“It’s been really great to see how much people care about the building and I’m really eager to share this project with people in May,” Silva said.

“I really hope that people watch this movie and learn about what the building is and recognize the cultural and historic significance, and see what me and a lot of other people see,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Christine Rafalke

Roller skaters at the pavilion in the 1970s. (Photo courtesy of Christine Rafalke)

Silva, a video production teacher for Jericho Middle School and High School, had no professional filmmaking experience before he started making the documentary in February 2013. It took him two years and almost $25,000 — raised through GoFundMe and Kickstarter — to complete the project.

When Silva set out to do the film he didn’t feel like many people were talking about the pavilion, but that started to change after he began his production and the structure’s 50th anniversary in the spring of 2014 approached.

In November 2013, the Parks Department released plans to restore the pavilion, with cost estimates starting at $43 million. An option to tear it down would cost about $14 million. Support from the public and Borough President Melinda Katz, however, leaned toward preserving it.

To mark the pavilion’s 50th anniversary in April 2014, the Parks Department opened the pavilion to the public for the first time in decades. It was also named a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the anniversary.

world's fair 3

People line up to visit the pavilion during its anniversary last spring.

That June, Katz secured $5.8 million in funding to begin the restoration process. Part of that effort has included preliminary test runs of LED display lights for the pavilion’s observation decks on Feb. 27 and one scheduled for Tuesday night.

These increased efforts added to the narrative of the documentary, with Silva choosing to end the film with the opening of the pavilion on the anniversary.

“I could have never imagined that [the opening] could have been a part of the film when I set out to do the film,” he said.

Silva was also inspired to do more to help the pavilion’s preservation efforts while filming and co-founded the advocacy group People for the Pavilion in May 2013.

The efforts of individuals and groups like his own, such as the New York State Pavilion Paint Project, a volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the structure through painting and other upkeep projects, are highlighted in his documentary.

Silva is hoping to incorporate some of those who contributed to its history and took part in the film at a Q&A with nonprofit documentation and conservation organization Docomomo US/New York Tri-State during the premiere — including Albert Fischer, a VIP guide at the ’64 fair; Charles Aybar, who worked as a pavilion skate guard; and Bill Cotter, an author and World’s Fair photo archivist.

world's fair 2

New York State Pavilion Paint Project at work.

The film will premiere at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 22, at the Queens Theatre, which was once part of the one of three structures, designed by Johnson along with the Tent of Tomorrow and observation towers, to comprise the pavilion. For now, the May screening is the only one scheduled, but Silva said more are in the works.

“I hope [the film] helps perpetuate understanding and get more people interested in the building that can bring more positive growth and renewal to the park and to Queens,” he said.

For tickets and more information about the premiere, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/9994545. To learn more about the film, visit www.aquarelapictures.com.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Teens busted after climbing up NYS Pavilion tower


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Two teens were busted for scaling the New York State Pavilion with graffiti-making tools over the weekend, reports said.

The pair were caught climbing several hundred feet up a decaying staircase of the 1964 World’s Fair structure on Sunday afternoon and hanging out on an observation deck, according to Parks Department officials and published reports.

Two boys, ages 14 and 15, were charged with trespassing and possession of a graffiti instrument, reports said. They were given juvenile reports and then released to their parents.

According to Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, Park Enforcement officers found a hole in the perimeter fence, the rusty door leading to the staircase wide open, and a pair of pliers and a broken lock tossed on the ground.

The officers needed to use a makeshift ladder made of electrical cords to reach the top of the observation deck to reach the teens, Croft reported on the blog A Walk in the Park.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

First phase renovation of former World’s Fair office building complete


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy of BKSK Architects 

The revitalization of a World’s Fair relic is nearing completion, and it’s not the New York State Pavilion.

The first phase of renovation and expansion of the Olmsted Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has concluded, BKSK Architects announced on Thursday.

Aside from revitalizing the building, which was constructed in 1964 and used as temporary offices for Robert Moses and the World’s Fair Corporation staff during the colossal event, the project includes a new 10,000-square-foot addition.

The addition features distinctive exposed steel to honor the original design of the building. The renovated structure includes Kebony wood for the walkways, complimented by steel railings and stainless steel cabling.

“One of the chief goals of this project has been to create an indoor workplace environment that strengthens the connection between agency staff and the parks they serve throughout the city,” said BKSK partner-in-charge Joan Krevlin. “We sought design opportunities that heighten awareness of the park landscape beyond their windows.”


The Parks Department’s Capital Projects Division currently uses the Olmsted Center, and now has several new offices, a new meeting room and a new public procurement and bidding room with the revitalization.

The first phase of construction also included new siding to improve the center’s resistance to weather, and reconfiguration of the interior to accommodate employees and people with disabilities.

Inspired by the effects of Superstorm Sandy, the second phase of the project will technologically enhance the building and resolve flooding problems with a new water channel system to lead water into bioswales that will contain and absorb it.

The second phase will commence in early 2015.

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

NY Hall of Science $15M renovation nearing completion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The New York Hall of Science is in its final stage for an approximately $15 million renovation of its Great Hall, which was originally built for exhibitions for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The project, which began in August 2012, was supposed to wrap up this August. But due to unforeseen problems, such as the need to repair concrete walls, the completion was pushed back and now the project is expected to be completed by spring 2015, according to the project manager.

The revitalization seeks to clean up and repair the interior of the building— which had been in need of an upgrade for about three decades — and add new lighting, new heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, and new communication equipment.

Ennead Architect’s Todd Schliemann, the design partner in charge of the renovation, called the building’s architecture unique and said it is one that should be treasured.

“The purpose was to renew the building so it could live for another 50 years. It’s a remarkable piece of architecture. It’s very unique in its form,” he said. “I think we have an obligation to preserve the best of our architecture, because it’s our culture.”

The project also will drain the reflecting pools outside of the building on the terrace and add a new outdoor classroom, a walkway with plants and benches, and renovate stairs leading to other sections of the Hall of Science.

Work on stairs

The Great Hall is mainly used as an event space. It has 90-foot tall ceilings, and about 5,000 square feet of space. The exterior is made of concrete and cobalt.

With more than 450 exhibits that explore biology, chemistry and physics, the Hall of Science serves over 500,000 visitors each year.

Full shot construction work

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Former 1964 World’s Fair office building set for upgrade


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Renderings courtesy NYC Department of Parks and Recreation


Recent talks of upgrading World’s Fair relics seem to focus on the New York State Pavilion.

But the Olmsted Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which was constructed in 1964 and used as temporary offices for Robert Moses and the World’s Fair Corporation staff during the colossal event, is also getting a makeover.

The Parks Department announced Aug. 4 that it is collecting bids for a contractor to renovate the center, which is named in honor of Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of Central, Prospect and Riverside parks. Today, the building houses the bulk of the agency’s capital project staff.

The renovation project, which is designed by BKSK Architects, is split in two phases.

The first is the expansion of the center with a new 10,000-square-foot annex building, which is nearing completion.

The second phase, which will commence in early 2015, will technologically enhance the building and resolve flooding problems. It will include a new water channel system to lead water into bioswales that will contain and absorb it.

The renovated building will include Kebony wood for the walkways, complimented by steel railings and stainless steel cabling.

The construction will also include new siding to improve the center’s resistance to weather, and reconfiguration of the interior to accommodate employees and people with disabilities.

The bids are due Sept. 8.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Attend a Mets game to support the NYS Pavilion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Mets


The Mets are stepping up to the plate to help out one of their iconic neighbors.

In cooperation with People for the Pavilion (PFP) and to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World’s Fairs, a portion of each ticket purchased through a special online offer for the team’s Friday, August 1 game at Citi Field will help support the PFP’s initiative of preserving the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Purchasers will receive a Limited Edition Mets Pavilion t-shirt. Additionally, groups of 25 or more get welcomed on the Right Field Scoreboard and the group leader receives four tickets to the game of their choice (tickets subject to availability).

To buy tickets for the 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants, click here.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Thousands relive past World’s Fairs at anniversary festival, call for third Fair


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


It wasn’t quite a third New York World’s Fair, but Sunday’s anniversary festival left that impression.

Thousands flocked to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs, to honor the 75th and 50th anniversaries through a myriad of free activities, exhibitions and various food, sponsored by the Queens borough president’s office and the Parks Department.

People mostly from around the city, Tri-State area and Long Island came to relive the memory of the World’s Fair and pass along that feeling to the next generation.

“For me, just to come back and pay respects 50 years later is [great],” said Carlos Rios, a Harlem native who attended the 1964-65 World’s Fair. “It’s deja-vu.”

Surrounding the iconic Unisphere, there were inflatable rides for children, international food courtesy of LIC Flea & Food, free tours, exhibitions from Queens educational institutions, memorabilia from past Fairs, and music from various bands— including Beatles tribute band, the Liverpool Shuffle.

Despite the festivities, the celebration just didn’t compare to an actual World’s Fair, some said.

“This is not a World’s Fair, this is just a reunion-type thing,” Marc Cutler, a Brooklyn resident who collects World’s Fair memorabilia said. “There’s no comparison.”

But the festival triggered so many memories of the Fair, some people are now calling for a third fair, and politicians are already on board.

“We need conservation, preservation, and more economic development [in Queens], and I think a World’s Fair would do all of that wrapped up in one,” Public Advocate Letitia James said.

Many watched and listened as the band Raices and others performed in front of the Unisphere. 

Learning the history of the World’s Fair is great, but for kids, bouncy houses are also fun.  

International food vendors, such as Koso’s Korean cuisine, were available at the festival courtesy of LIC Flea & Food. 

AT&T unveiled charging stations— a must-have in modern times. 

A festival isn’t a festival without classic cars. 

An original Batmobile from the Batman TV series in the mid-1960s. It was not part of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, but Autoseum added it to the classic cars selection because it is a fan favorite. 

New York State Pavilion advocates were around to give tours and information on the structure as well as ask people to sign petitions to save it. 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Festival to celebrate World’s Fair anniversaries this Sunday


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Unisphere

DOROTHY LEWANDOWSKI

On Sunday, May 18, from 1 to 5:30 p.m., NYC Parks is celebrating two World’s Fair anniversaries — the 75th anniversary of the 1939 and the 50th anniversary of the 1964 — in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The giant one-day festival will offer inflatable rides, puppet shows, strolling magicians, tents filled with World’s Fair memorabilia, live cultural dance and music, history tours of World’s Fair icons in the park, great food and a place to record your own World’s Fair memories and photos.

From 5:30 to 9 p.m., stay for a free concert by the Liverpool Shuffle, a Beatles tribute band, followed by the Queens Symphony Orchestra and a skyful of fireworks. If you plan to ride the 7 subway, you might find yourself on one of the actual World’s Fair cars from the 1964 Fair — the MTA is returning it to service May 18 only to celebrate the day.

The Fairs are gone, but Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the World’s Park, remains.

Since 2002, NYC Parks has spent nearly $89 million on dozens of capital improvements to the park, and this important work continues. Some are renovations or new uses for World’s Fair legacy structures.

Originally built for the 1939 Fair, the Boathouse on Meadow Lake is now home to the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, which holds its annual race in August; the American Small Craft Association, offering sailing; and Row New York. From the 1964 World’s Fair, the Unisphere remains, its three rings circling the globe to represent the first three satellites to orbit the earth. Terrace on the Park, once Port Authority’s T-shaped heliport, now serves as a catering hall with remarkable views. Information about many more structures and works of art in the park can be found on a visit or by going to www.nyc.gov/parks and searching World’s Fair.

How much does New York love Flushing Meadows Corona Park and its treasures? On April 22, 2014, as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, local elected officials and community leaders cut the ribbon on the anniversary season, 2,500 people lined up to step inside the New York State Pavilion’s “Tent of Tomorrow,” where they could re-imagine the happiness, hope and promise of that beautiful spring when the 1964 Fair first opened.

Join us to celebrate it all at the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival Sunday in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

See you in the park!

Dorothy Lewandowski is Queens Parks Commissioner for NYC Parks.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens native explores borough in new children’s book


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Illustrations © Rick Sanders

Demetra Tsavaris-Lecourezos is taking young readers on a journey around the world with the first magical stop in Queens.

Tsavaris-Lecourezos, who was born in Jackson Heights and raised in Woodside, is the author of a new children’s book and series titled “Young World Travelers and the Magical Crystal Globe,” where a group of kids from Florida are transported to any time period they want, wherever they want.

The first book of the series debuted Sunday at the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival. It takes these young world travelers back in time to experience the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, the Queens County Farm, before it was a museum, and a Civil War fort in Fort Totten.

“You pick up books in the bookstore and you are learning about the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, but never about the structures in Queens,” Tsavaris-Lecourezos said.

The concept of the “Young World Travelers” series began nine years ago when Tsavaris-Lecourezos gave birth to her daughter Katerina, the year after marrying her high school sweetheart. Together with her husband, Constantinos (Gus) P. Lecourezos she began to come up an initial concept of writing a movie script that would be educational for children and revolve around traveling to Greece.

After realizing the large costs that involved turning the script into a film, Tsavaris-Lecourezos decided to create a children’s book. She wrote four books in total with the characters traveling to places in Egypt, England, Greece and New York.

In 2009, her husband passed away and Tsavaris-Lecourezos moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida with her daughter.

At the end of last year a friend suggested she take her concept to a publisher and when Tsavaris-Lecourezos approached publisher thewordverve inc. her ideas were accepted.

“It was all falling into place, I had no idea,” she said. “I’m rolling with it and I’m really excited.”

The “Young World Travelers” series is dedicated to Tsavaris-Lecourezos’ husband and mother. In the book the children receive a magical crystal globe, which allows them to time travel, from Mrs. Eva, who was named and inspired by Tsavaris-Lecourezos’ mother.

The 43-page book’s illustrator Rick Sanders is also a Queens native. Though Tsavaris-Lecourezos and him first met through thewordverve, they were coincidentally born in the same hospital.

During the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, Tsavaris-Lecourezos held two readings to share the book with visitors of all ages.

“I was so honored to have been invited to such an event,” she said. “It was amazing and an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to debut my book there.”

To preorder “Young World Travelers and the Magical Crystal Globe,” click here.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

LIC and Astoria Flea & Food vendors to be at World’s Fair Anniversary Festival


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Several food vendors from the LIC Flea & Food and Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios are making their way to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park this Sunday to add their flavor to the World’s Fair festivities.

Visitors to the World’s Fair Anniversary Festival will be able to taste empanadas from Jessy’s Pastries, Old Fashioned Donuts, brisket from Butcher Bar, Finga Lickin Jamaican Jerk Spot’s jerk chicken, Kosofresh’s rice bowls, Fav’s Treatery’s muffins stuffed with cheeses and meats, ZhaPanAsian riceballs, kosher cheeses from The Cheese Guy, Drink More Good syrups and drinks, and cool down with lemonade from Frittering Away.

The vendors will be located by the rides and just steps away from the New York State Pavilion.

The World’s Fair Anniversary Festival begins at 1 p.m. and a variety of music, including tunes from a Beatles Tribute band, book readings, puppet shows and food from around the world. The festival will then end with a sky-filled with fireworks.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Video captures Queens family’s memories from 1964-1965 World’s Fair


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of Psomiades family

A local family shared some its memories of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair with The Queens Courier through film.

The Psomiades handed over footage of the family, which included parents Bill and Tessie, and their sons Bill, John and George, attending the event at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

To mark the event’s 50th anniversary, The Courier had the 18-minute film digitized.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

Readers continue to share their World’s Fair memories


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_8306

KATRINA MEDOFF

In anticipation of NYC Parks’ World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, which will be held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday, May 18, readers of The Queens Courier have been sharing their World’s Fair memories and memorabilia with us.

Belle Chameides, 93, went to both the 1939-40 and the 1964-65 World’s Fairs.

“I just loved it and I enjoyed going back many times to visit it,” the Little Neck resident said.

She recalls enjoying World’s Fair festivities with her older sister, Anita Lee, and her twin sister, Shirley.

She sent The Queens Courier memorabilia from both Fairs: a flag and pins from 1940, and tickets from 1964-65.

Reader Dotty Sodano was about 20 when she worked as part of the stenographic pool in the Administration Building of the Fair.

Sodano started working in the office in 1963, the year before the Fair opened, and she remembers that there was a countdown in the office until the Fair’s opening day.

“It was a fun place to work,” Sodano said.

She wrote to The Queens Courier to share her World’s Fair memories:

“I was employed in the Administration Building at the World’s Fair from 1963 to 1965, working on occasion for [Vice President] Stuart Constable and President Robert Moses.

“It was a privilege to be present the day that Gen. Douglas MacArthur visited the Fair. I am actually in a photo that was taken of him and the office staff while he was being greeted by Gen. William Potter. The photo appeared in a pamphlet which I kept all of these years. He also visited the large-scale table model of the entire World’s Fair, which I still remember as being an impressive sight.

“One of the perks of working there was walking around on our lunch hour visiting the many extraordinary pavilions and exhibits. There were people of all nationalities enjoying the sites (which may be common today, but not then). The Walt Disney salute to the children of the world was most enjoyable, as were the international exhibits; and Michelangelo’s Pieta left a lasting impression.

“It’s hard to believe that was fifty years ago. As a young woman, it was certainly a great place to work and a most memorable time of my life!

“Sincerely,
“Dotty Sodano”

The pamphlet featuring Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s visit to the World’s Fair, courtesy of Dotty Sodano.

 

WORLD’S FAIR SUBMISSIONS CALL

Did you or someone you know attend the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park?

If yes, The Queens Courier is asking you to share your memorabilia and/or memories with us to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary this April. You could win a dinner for two.

Please email your entries to editorial@queenscourier.com with the subject line “World’s Fair Anniversary” or to Editorial, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361.

Note: All photos/items become property of The Queens Courier.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES