Flushing Meadows Corona Park

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Column of Jerash

History

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

What is this monument dedicated to?

The delicate column with its modified Corinthian capital is believed to have been originally erected in the second century A.D. by Romans in the ancient Jordanian city of Jerash, then known as Gerasa. It is attributed to the Temple of Artemis in World’s Fair brochures, in official documents and on the engraved plaque. However, archeological research published in 2015 confirmed that the column cannot be from the temple given its size, design, and construction when compared to photographs of the temple's columns in their original position. Though the precise building from which the Column of Jerash originated has not been identified, given the common practice of reusing columns for reconstruction in Jerash, its historical and political importance remains intact.

King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan presented this column to the New York World’s Fair Corporation and City of New York during Jordan’s participation in the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65, held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

How was this created?

Gerasa was once a small village prior to the rule of Greek general Antiochus IV (175-163 B.C.). The town grew over the next three centuries into a major metropolis under Greek and later Roman occupation. When Roman Syria was reorganized in 63 A.D., Gerasa became a free city and was at its height when the Column of Jerash is believed to have been built.

An earthquake at Jerash in 749 A.D. severely damaged the colonnades of the ancient city, and again many older elements were adapted as building materials. A 1960s reconstruction of Jerash caused many ancient architectural artifacts to be removed altogether.

The Jordanian pavilion, designed by Victor H. Bisharat, was described in guides to the World’s Fair grounds as “a multi-peaked-and domed structure with an undulating roof” intended to evoke the rolling hills of Jordan, and was “surfaced in gold mosaic and shimmering blue glass.” It was situated near the Court of the Astronauts between the pavilions of the United Arabic Republic and Sudan at the site now marked by this Column. Inside the pavilion were displayed “the oldest Torah, the Church of the Nativity, and the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock […], symbols of righteousness, tolerance, peace and brotherhood.”

The column, 4.94 meters in height, consists of three unfluted drums of marble of varying hues set on an “attic” styled base and topped by a Corinthian capital. Major areas of loss existed when it was delivered to the park for the World’s Fair. It is one of the few true antiquities in the parks of New York City and is a rare surviving relic from the last New York World’s Fair

Click map for directions

  • Column, plaque set in ground
  • Column, plaque set in ground

Column of Jerash Details

  • Location: East of Unisphere
  • Description: Column, plaque set in ground
  • Materials: Marble
  • Dimensions: Plaque H: 30" W: 60"
  • Cast: 120 AD
  • Dedicated: World's Fair, 1964
  • Donor: King Hussein of Jordan
  • Inscription: THIS COLUMN WAS PRESENTED TO/ THE NEW YORK WORLDS FAIR AND THE CITY OF NEW YORK BY/ HIS MAJESTY KING HUSSEIN / OF THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN/ ON THE OCCASION / OF JORDAN'S PARTICIPATION IN THE FAIR./ THE COLUMN WAS RECEIVED BY THE HONORABLE ROBERT MOSES, PRESIDENT, / NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965 CORPORATION./ THIS IS ONE OF MANY COLUMNS IN A TEMPLE ERECTED BY THE ROMANS/IN 120 A.D./ THAT STOOD IN THE ROMAN CITY OF JERASH, JORDAN./ THE COLUMNS ARE KNOWN AS THE WHISPERING COLUMNS OF JERASH.

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

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8163

Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Know Before You Go

Marinas
World'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.

Indoor Pools
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink

The indoor pool is closed at this location.

Recreation Centers
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool & Rink

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool is closed due to needed repairs to the movable floor. Visit our Capital Tracker page for updates on this project.


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