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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, June 6, 2001

CONSTRUCTION OF A STATE-OF-THE-ART ATHLETIC FACILITY BEGINS


Flushing Meadows Corona Park is home to the National Tennis Center, the Queens Museum of Art, and the Queens Wildlife Conservation Center among other treasures. Soon it will also house the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Ice Hockey Rink. On Thursday, May 31, construction on this ambitious project began. Rudy (Cobra) Washington, Deputy Mayor; Claire (Queen Bee) Shulman, Queens Borough President, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Alan (Northside) Moss, First Deputy Commissioner; Robert (Iceman) Garafola, Second Deputy Commissioner; Estelle (Unisphere) Cooper, Assistant Commissioner, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; Ed (Labrador) Lewis, Assistant Commissioner, Queens Parks; Richard (Ricardo) Murphy, Queens Borough Commissioner; Paul (Polecat) Ersboll, Chief of Design; and John (Wildcat) Natoli, Chief Engineer were among those present to watch a 70-foot pile driver start the construction. Students from Ms. Ilene (Smurfette) Balsamo's class at P.S. 150 arrived dressed in bathing suits and performed Surfin' USA for the crowd.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park started as a dump. For forty years, Brooklyn's trash was burned and shoveled onto hills 100 feet high and valleys almost as deep. To F. Scott Fitzgerald, it was a "fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat." But to Parks Commissioner Robert Moses it was "a Central Park and a half." Thirty years after Moses first conceived of it, Flushing Meadows Corona Park was delivered into the hands of all New Yorkers. It took one highway, two World's Fairs, and a term as the UN headquarters to make, from ash, a park.

This year, Parks will forge another transformation there; from parking lot to green space. In its midst, will be built the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Ice Hockey Rink, a state-of-the-art athletic facility on a scale not built by Parks since Commissioner Moses' tenure. The Olympic size public pool will be the first to open in a park in four decades. It will have a moveable floor that alters the depth of its one million gallons of water, and two bulkheads that move to create a wading pool, a lap pool, and the City's only open diving pool. Just as the 1939 ice rink, a relic from the World's Fair, closes, Flushing Meadows will open an NHL standard ice hockey rink, a year-round facility for competitive leagues and single skaters.

A generous $18.5 million from Mayor Giuliani, $11.4 million from Borough President Shulman, and $3 million from the City Council enable Parks to realize the ambitious design of Architects Kevin Hom, Andrew Goldman, and John Verelley, and Project Managers Vincent (Winged Victory) Colangelo and Jonna (Wright) Carmona-Graf.

To protect the sports complex from the "mud waves" that can rip building foundations from the marshy ground, 700 steel piles will be packed into place with a pile driver. But perhaps the greatest feat of engineering and design: the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Ice Hockey Rink will be built to the scale of people and trees, and green space will be added, not subtracted. Trees, flowers, and shrubs will be planted in abundance. An open air deck will create continuity between the indoors and outdoors, and an indoor lounge and viewing area will look into both major recreational facilities. New Yorkers can look forward to using the new facility in 2002.

Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in bringing this project to construction.

Watch Commissioner Stern deliver a web cast report about the Flushing Meadows Corona Park construction project

Sign up for Parks Newsgroups and receive construction updates via email

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, June 8, 1988)

HARLEM MEER CONCESSION APPROVED

The Concessions Review Committee has approved a multi-million dollar development of a restaurant and boat rental concession at Central Park's Harlem Meer Boathouse by a consortium of Harlem-based businesses.

The Concessions Review Committee, composed of representatives from the Mayor, the Comptroller, the Vice Chairman of the City Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Corporation Counsel and the Public Development Corporation, reviews each city agency's selection of businesses for major concessions.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The city is a stage for transformation scenes."

Jonathan Raban (b. 1942)

Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

Recreation CentersAl Oerter Recreation Center

On Wednesday, November 26, all Recreation Centers close at 6:00 p.m. for the holiday. There may be changes to your schedule, so please check with your center. On Thursday, November 27, all Recreation Centers are closed. Happy Thanksgiving!
Anticipated Completion: 11/27/2014

Recreation CentersFlushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink

On Wednesday, November 26, the pool at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatics Center closes at 4:30 p.m. The facility closes at 5:00 p.m. There may be changes to the schedule, so please check with your center. On Thursday, November 27, this and all the other Recreation Centers are closed. Happy Thanksgiving!
Anticipated Completion: 11/27/2014

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Weather

  • Wed
    Rain/Snow
    35°F
  • Wed
    Slight Chc Rain/Snow
    39°F
  • Fri
    Mostly Sunny
    40°F
  • Sat
    Mostly Cloudy
    43°F

7-day forecast

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