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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Terrace on the Park

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

The Terrace on the Park was constructed for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. The Port Authority of New York commissioned the structure as an “aerial gateway” for helicopter transportation from locations around New York City. Chief architect A. Gordon Lorimer, engineers John Kyle and Ray Monte, and planning chief E. Donald Mills designed the 120-foot high heliport for the Transportation Area of the fair. Horizontal and vertical windows create a large “T,” for transportation, on each side of the structure. The building’s four large beams support two stories, topped by a helicopter-landing platform measuring 175 feet by 200 feet.

The top floor of the exhibit featured the Terrace Club, from the 1939-40- New York World’s Fair, and the “Top of the Fair,” a 1,100-seat restaurant with terraces for visitors to enjoy the commanding view. The lower floor featured the restaurant kitchen and the 400-seat “Drinks Around the World” cocktail lounge serving aperitifs from 24 locations around the globe. The Port Authority Heliport and Exhibit Building also featured a twelve-minute film about the amenities of the Port of New York and New Jersey on a 360-degree screen.

Robert Moses (1888-1981) served as president of the World’s Fair Corporation for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, which opened on April 22, 1964 in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park. U.S. Steel constructed its symbol, the Unisphere, which still sits in the park today. The fair theme was “Peace through Understanding,” and hosted 80 countries, the United States government, 24 states, and the City of New York. Popular exhibitions included General Motors’ “Futurama II” portraying the world of 2064, American Telephone and Telegraph’s models of the Picturephone, the large dinosaur sculptures in Sinclair Oil’s “Dinoland,” International Business Machines presentation of basic computers, the New York State Pavilion, the Hall of Science, and the intricate “Panorama” of the five boroughs in the New York City Building. Fair attendance was 51,666,300, larger than all other World’s Fairs.

The Terrace on the Park is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park between 111 Street and Grand Central Parkway, near the Hall of Science and the Queens Wildlife Center. Today, the Terrace on the Park still features a catering business and restaurant with a spectacular view of the park.

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