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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Gates of Life map_it

History

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

The animal motifs for these fanciful bronze grillwork gates, designed by architects Clarke and Rapuano, and dating to 1968, were crafted by the Italian-born sculptor Albino Manca (1898–1976).

Following the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65, the World’s Fair Corporation returned this land to the City, and work resumed on the improvements to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. On October 26, 1968 the Queens Zoo opened at this site, utilizing Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome as an aviary, which was built to house the Winston Churchill Pavilion in the Fair’s second season. The theme of the new zoo was North American animals.

Manca, who also sculpted the impressive eagle for the East Coast Memorial (1963) in Battery Park, created a three-tiered composition for these impressive gates. Aquatic plants occupy the lowest level, marine life, such as fish and mollusks reside on the second level, and terrestrial plants, animals and birds are situated on the top level. Measuring 22 feet across, and ranging from outer to inner height from 10 to 8 1/2 feet, the monumental gates are an appropriate introduction to the actual species within.

Photo of the Gates of Life at the Queens Wildlife Conservation Center, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Gates of Life Details

  • Sculptor: Albino Manca
  • Architect: Clarke and Rapuano, Incorporated
  • Description: Ornamental gates
  • Materials: Bronze
  • Dimensions: H: 10' (ends), 8'6" (center) W: 22'
  • Cast: ca. 1968
  • Dedicated: ca. 1968

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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