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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, January 31, 2008

Historic Road Map Gets A Facelift


Photo by Daniel Avila

Parks is dedicated to preservation and is eager to conserve the important historic elements of the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Also known as “The Tent of Tomorrow,” the New York State Pavilion was considered one of the best architectural monuments at the 1964/65 World’s Fair and certainly one of the most iconic of structures to survive.

Working closely with the Architectural Conservation Laboratory at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, we are restoring the terrazzo Texaco Road Map on the floor of the Pavilion. Built as a temporary structure for the Fair, the Texaco Road Map, along with the Pavilion, has suffered from over 30 years of weather exposure and vandalism.

This year, however, the Map returns to the spotlight for a long-overdue comeback. Parks and UPenn have carefully removed vegetation and have gathered loose pieces of terrazzo and plastic from the panels for preservation. Thirteen 4’ x 4’ panels were removed from the floor for conservation work, at least five of which will be restored in conjunction with the current exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art.

The Queens Museum of Art is presenting Back on the Map: Revisiting the New York State Pavilion at the 1964/65 World’s Fair, on view through May 4, 2008. Back on the Map seeks to inform and engage the public about architect Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion and its main exhibit: a large-scale, terrazzo floor replica of the Texaco Road Map of New York State.

The exhibition will feature restored sections of the Texaco Road Map and elaborate the project findings through text panels and an interactive web site. The exhibit will also allow visitors the opportunity to witness the restoration process up close as conservators restore portions of the Road Map in the Museum’s galleries.

A fusion of Pop Art imagery and traditional craft techniques, the map pavement was a crucial component of “The Tent of Tomorrow.” In addition to the works of artists Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others displayed on the exterior of the adjoining Theaterama, the Road Map helped solidify the Pavilion’s status as a landmark of 60s avant-garde culture.

We hope that the exhibition of the map project will act as a catalyst for future projects and allow us to gain greater attention and support for the Pavilion as a whole, as well as funding to conserve the remaining panels.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“Oh, we’re the men of Texaco. We work from Maine to Mexico.
There's nothing like this Texaco of ours.
Our show tonight is powerful. We'll wow you with an hourful
of howls from a showerful of stars.
We're the merry Texaco-men. Tonight we may be showmen.
Tomorrow we'll be servicing your cars.”

The Milton Berle Show
Opening Theme

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