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Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Samuel & Ethel Lefrak Meadow

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

This sprawling 96-acre meadow overlooking Willow Lake is named in honor of Samuel and Ethel LeFrak. Samuel J. LeFrak (1918-2003) was the third generation chairman of the Lefrak Organization. Best known for developing nearby Lefrak City, a self-contained housing and commercial complex built in the 1960s, he was one of the foremost leaders in the housing and energy industries of the 20th century.

LeFrak’s grandfather, Aaron LeFrak, emigrated from France to America in 1898 with his son, Harry LeFrak (1885-1963), and founded the company in 1901. Samuel J. LeFrak was born on February 12, 1918. He attended Erasmus Hall High School, the University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Harvard University. He married Ethel Stone, who attended Barnard College, in 1941, and together they had three daughters and a son.

With his great knowledge of housing and energy technology, LeFrak served six New York City mayors, five governors, and five presidents. He was a member of the United States National Energy Council, the New York Task Force on Housing, and the New York City Industrial Development Corporation. Lefrak acted as Special Consultant for the State Department, U.S. delegate to the International Conference on Housing and Urban Development in Geneva, and many nations invited him to advise on their land development projects. In addition to receiving many awards and honorary degrees, LeFrak was knighted by the Kings of both Sweden and Norway. LeFrak also had an extensive art collection, which he lent to museums throughout the world.

Samuel J. LeFrak and his wife, Ethel, donated $25,000 to the City Parks Foundation “Adopt-A-Park” Program for the creation of this meadow, and it was dedicated on May 29, 1991. Located near the southern tip of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, between the Van Wyck Expressway and the Jamaica Yards of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, LeFrak meadow includes the Willow Lake Natural Area. Although constructed for the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, this artificial wetland attracts a variety of wildlife. On November 10, 1976, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation designated the 47.6-acre Willow Lake a protected freshwater wetland.

Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 5 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

PlaygroundsPlayground

NYC Parks has removed slides in this park due to a manufacturer recall. The manufacture is currently working on an improved design and redesigned slides will be installed as soon as possible.


Recreation CentersAl Oerter Recreation Center

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, this Recreation Center's hours will be reduced. On Wednesday, November 22, the facility opens at its normal time and closes at 5:00 p.m. The class schedule may change as a result, so please call the center. On Thursday, November 23, this facility is closed.
Anticipated Completion: 11/23/2017

Recreation CentersFlushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, this Recreation Center's hours will be reduced. On Wednesday, November 22, the facility opens at its normal time and closes at 5:00 p.m. The class schedule may change as a result, so please call the center. On Thursday, November 23, this facility is closed.
Anticipated Completion: 11/23/2017

MarinasWorld's Fair Marina

Due to a major planned reconstruction project, Pier 1 at the World's Fair Marina is currently closed. Limited transient dockage is available for smaller recreational vessels - please contact the Dockmasters office at 718-478-0480 or VHF Ch71 for more information. There is no dockage available for larger vessels or commercial vessels, including passenger pick-up and drop-off. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please check back with the World's Fair Marina in the future for updates.
Anticipated Completion: Fall 2017

ParkFlushing Meadows Corona Park

Due to major ongoing construction, the northeast section of Meadow Lake is closed. This project will reduce flooding in this area. There will be access to the boathouse and Meadow Lake from the Van Wyck Expressway South Exit 11 and from Jewel Avenue. For more information about this project, please visit our Capital Project Tracker.

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