Press Releases

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
No. 39

Flushing Meadows Corona Park's Tent Of Tomorrow To Undergo $3 Million Renovation Project

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, will join President of the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association Kieran Ahern, Business Manager for the International Union of Painting and Allied Trades Local 806 District Council #9 Joe Ramaglia, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency and Infrastructure Bill Goldstein, Congresswoman Grace Meng, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley to announce an in kind donation to repaint the upper portion of the Tent of Tomorrow, an historic World’s Fair structure.

“Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Tent of Tomorrow is an iconic symbol of Queens, but we haven’t been able to give it the treatment it deserves until now,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to a partnership with the Structural Steel Painters Union, the building is being restored and beautified so that it may remain a source of pride for the entire borough, and a reminder of the World’s Fairs, for years to come. We are extremely grateful for this partnership, as well as the support from local elected officials and particularly Borough President Katz, as we move toward fully restoring the Pavilion.”

"Due to the tremendous generosity of Painters DC 9 and the Painting Contractors Association, the Pavilion will be refreshed with a new coat of paint,” Borough President Katz said. “We’re working hard to save this architectural marvel, and the facelift is a great boon to our efforts. We will restore this national treasure into a visible icon befitting ‘The World’s Borough’ for generations of families and visitors to enjoy.”

“The New York State Pavilion Tent for Tomorrow is an iconic part of NYC’s history and I want to thank the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association, the International Union of Painting and Allied Trades, Local 806 District Council 9 for engaging in this great pro bono reclamation project,” said Bill Goldstein, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Recovery, Resiliency and Infrastructure. “Making this project a part of the apprenticeship program both helps to preserve a historic structure and highlights the critical role apprenticeship programs play in the construction trades in New York City.”

“The New York State Pavilion is an iconic symbol of our great borough, and it’s a site that is extremely important the people of Queens,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “That’s why preserving and protecting this critical piece of borough history is so crucial. I thank the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association and the International Union of Painting and Allied Trades Local 806 District Council 9 for undertaking this critical project. They are to be commended for selflessly dedicating their time, energy and resources to this much needed restoration.”

“Flushing Pavilion is a landmark, cherished by locals and visitors alike,” said Council Member Crowley. “Before it goes into a state of disrepair, it is so important for community leaders to work together to preserve it. I would like to thank the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association and the International Union of Painting and Allied Trades Local 806 District 9, Borough President Melinda Katz and Queens Borough Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski for making this partnership happen.”

"I want to thank the painter's union and all those involved for the work that is going to be done on the Tent of Tomorrow, one of the elements of our wonderful NYS Pavilion, said Senator Jose Peralta. “This 16-concrete-column gem will shine brighter than ever once the work is completed."

This pro bono reclamation project, with an estimated value of $3 million, will restore the original luster and beauty to one of New York City’s most prestigious landmarks, while increasing its lifespan. The work will be a part of the Union’s apprenticeship program, so while the park will receive a makeover, the painters will gain valuable work experience. The existing condition of the paint system on this iconic structure is severely past its intended service life. In addition to helping restore past grandeur of this location, the new paint system will serve as protective coating which will help preserve the bones of this NYC landmark and extend the life of the structure by at least 15 years.

Work will begin this month and is expected to be complete in early fall. The steel will be painted back to the original World’s Fair color, “American Cheese Yellow.”

The New York State Pavilion was constructed for the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Designed by architect Philip Johnson, the “Tent of Tomorrow” measures 350 feet by 250 feet, with sixteen 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 square-foot roof of multi-colored panels. The popular exhibit for the state of New York also held three towers, measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet. The two shorter towers held cafeterias for the fair, and the tallest tower, as the highest point of the fair, held an observation deck. Fair visitors ascended the towers in the “Sky Streak” capsule elevators.

NYC Parks commissioned two structural studies of the New York State Pavilion’s Observation Towers and Tent of Tomorrow to assess their condition in light of their historic significance and iconic status among New Yorkers. In her first year, Borough President Katz worked with Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to successfully secure an initial $5.8 million for FY15 for important electrical and structural improvements on the towers; funding for FY16 to be announced.

On June 7, 2015, NYC Parks will continue the celebrations of the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World's Fairs with a full day of free activities. Last year’s successful celebration drew an estimated 60,000 people to the park. Interested in revisiting the 1939-40 and 1964-65 FairsΑ We'll be leading tours of historic sites that are still in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and displaying exhibits of memorabilia. Kid-friendly events include 50-cent rides on the historic carousel, puppet shows, and face painting. Enjoy cultural music and dance performances throughout the day. Different foods from around the world will be available, including Belgian waffles, which were introduced to the US at the 1964 World's Fair.

For more information, photos, and a virtual video tour of Flushing Meadows Corona Park World's Fair Legacy, visit

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