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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, April 23, 2014

50th Anniversary Of 1964-1965 World’s Fair Celebrated


Photo by Daniel Avila

Approximately 2,500 people tour New York State Pavilion

NYC Parks Queens Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski yesterday joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey and National Trust for Historic Preservation board member Paul Goldberger to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening ceremony of the 1964-65 World’s Fair and announce that Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s New York State Pavilion, one of the most iconic remnants of the 1964 World’s Fair, has been named as one of the Trust’s “National Treasures.”

The National Treasures program recognizes historically, culturally and architecturally important sites to raise awareness and funding for their preservation. The Pavilion is one of only 44 sites in the country to bear this designation.

Also attending the event were Congressman Joseph Crowley; State Senator Toby Stavisky; Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry; Council Member Julissa Ferreras; Council Member Peter Koo; Council Member Jimmy van Bramer; Council Member Mark Weprin; NYC Parks’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park Administrator Janice Melnick and Director of Historic Preservation John Krawchuk; and members of the New York State Pavilion Paint Project, a volunteer group which has worked to repaint the Tent of Tomorrow’s distinctive red and white stripes and yellow trim.

Approximately 2,500 event attendees were able to view some of the original road map panels from the Tent of Tomorrow’s two-dimensional terrazzo floor. Two restored panels and two unrestored panels depicting sections of Eastern Long Island were on display for comparison. They were also able to visit the inside of the Tent, with tours throughout the day run by volunteers from the Pavilion Paint Project.

The New York State Pavilion was originally built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. It consisted of the Tent of Tomorrow, three Observation Towers and the Theaterama, which is now the Queens Theatre. During the Fair, the Observation Towers held a snack bar, gift shop and viewing areas, with the tallest tower perched 226 feet above the fairground. The Tent of Tomorrow was an open exhibition space, highlighting New York attractions and hosting performances.

The Tent’s floor was designed as the world’s largest map, depicting the entire State of New York in terrazzo paving with 567 panels, each weighing 400 pounds. The map was sponsored by Texaco, so along with towns and roads it also showed the locations of the company’s gas stations.

In 2006, conservationists from the University of Pennsylvania, working with the NYC Parks, began a multi-year effort to preserve the map and restore some of its panels. Fourteen panels were removed for analysis and 4 panels were restored. The sections of the floor that remained on site were covered in layers of sand, fabric and gravel as a conservation technique in order to preserve them

In recent years, NYC Parks has completed several engineering studies of the Pavilion structures. The latest, finished in 2008 and 2012, found that both the Tent and Towers are structurally sound, and estimated that it would cost approximately $40 million to preserve the structures as architectural elements and approximately $50 million to preserve the structures while also restoring public access. In 2013, Parks began the process of holding public meetings to both share the results of the studies and start a discussion on the future of the space. This was followed by three public listening sessions and an online survey in January of 2014.

As part of the celebrations of the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World’s Fairs, NYC Parks will be hosting a free festival on May 18, featuring World's Fair memorabilia; tours of Fair buildings, sculptures and structures – including the Pavilion; and international food, music and dance. The day will be capped with a live concert and fireworks.

For more information about Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the New York State Pavilion and the May 18 festival, including a complete listing of activities, visit nyc.gov/parks.

A variety of other cultural institutions will also be holding events over the next six months in celebration of the World’s Fair anniversaries. A list of these events can be found at itsinqueens.com/worldsfair.

KUDOS ON 30 YEARS!

Today, NYC Parks and the Revenue Division celebrate Charles “Tennessee” Kloth and 30 years of exceptional service to the City of New York.

Revenue Division Director Charles Kloth has spent 30 remarkable years working at Parks. Given the 20 year maximum limit on License Terms, there is not a concession agreement in the City that he hasn't played an instrumental role in awarding, negotiating and administrating. Charles' work truly has made an impact by bringing new and improved restaurants like the recently restored and re-opened Tavern on the Green, new cafes like the Shake Shack, golf courses like Ferry Point and Pelham/ Split Rock, marinas like Bayside and Lemon Creek, stables like Cedar Lane and Van Cortlandt and new tennis facilities like Sportime on Randall's Island and in construction at Crotona, to every corner of the City. Those concessions have brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue into the City's coffers and have led to hundreds of millions in privately funded capital improvements to our Parks facilities.

Charles has earned the respect of his co-workers and our business partners with the passion, common sense, intelligence and perseverance he brings to the job every day. He was instrumental in helping the city recover from its darkest days after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy and tirelessly works to bring new and improved amenities to our Parks system.

The bottom line is, Charles has made a tremendous difference to the quality of life in New York City.

Congratulations and Happy 30th Anniversary to our very special Parkie!

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Life is all memory, except for the one present moment

that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going."

Tennessee Williams

(1911 - 1983)

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