Photo via Wikimedia
For two six-month seasons in 1964, the World’s Fair came to Queens, with exhibits featured from over 80 nations spread across 646 acres. The fair came at a time of mid-20th-century innovation and culture, at the height of the Space Age. It served as a moment of peace before the start of the Vietnam War, with its motto “Peace Through Understanding.” And while many New Yorkers attended the historic event, or have heard stories recounted by parents and grandparents, it’s hard to imagine what it was truly like to experience.
Making it easier to understand what the World’s Fair was really like, the city’s parks department is offering free, monthly tours of the park, allowing visitors to hear the stories behind the Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion and many more landmarks.
Photo courtesy of Bill Cotter/worldsfairphotos
On April 28th and 29th CitiField will be transformed into a modern, food-centric take on the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The World’s Fare wants guests to experience “diversity through cuisine,” which they’ll accomplish with 100+ food vendors from more than 100 cultures (there will also be an international beer garden, live music, and art), and now Eater has the scoop on the first 50 of these participants, which includes old-time Jewish bakery Orwashers, social venture and Bengali pop-up Jhal NYC, Japanese vegetable pancake purveyor Oconomi, Australian restaurant the Thirsty Koala, and Brazilian chocolate shop Brigadeiros.
The full list and all the event details
More than 50 years after the 1964-65 World’s Fair was held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the fountains leading up to the iconic Unisphere will be returned to their former glory. amNY first got word that the currently dilapidated Fountain of the Fairs would undergo a $5 million renovation next year. Renderings from Quennell Rothschild & Partners show a Fog Garden, a walkway filled with misting fountains, as well as a children’s water park and another plaza for outdoor performances, all of which will be lined with new landscaping and seating.
More details and renderings
Photo via Wiki Commons
US Open fever has once again swept the city, and though nowadays it’s all Venus and Serena and craft beers and lobster rolls, there’s a long history behind the world-famous event. Here, 6sqft takes a look at how the international tournament made its way from an elite, private club in Newport Rhode Island, to Forest Hills’ West Side Tennis Club, and finally to its current home in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, even uncovering a little connection to the 1964 World’s Fair.
All the tennis history right this way
Photo courtesy of Gregory Fournier
The world’s largest tire, the Uniroyal Giant Tire, reached 80 feet high and weighed 20 tons when it debuted as a Ferris wheel at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. First located in Flushing, Queens, the towering tire was commissioned by the Uniroyal Tire Company and designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the same architectural firm behind the Empire State Building. During its time at the fair, the tire carried over two million passengers, including Jacqueline Kennedy and her children, Telly Savalas, and the Shah of Iran. Each ride cost just $0.25 and would last 10 minutes.
How did the tire end up in Detroit?
In a rare case, the RKO Keith’s Flushing Theater is an interior landmark, but the building it’s inside is not landmarked. Built in 1928 to the designs of noted theater architect Thomas Lamb, the elaborately ornamented Churrigueresque-style movie palace has sat decrepit for the past three decades, until Chinese firm Xinyuan Real Estate (they’re also behind Williamsburg’s Oosten condo and the forthcoming Hell’s Kitchen condo that will be anchored by a Target) bought the vacant theater for $66 million last year with plans to develop it into a 269-unit luxury condo. Moving ahead with this vision, they’ve tapped Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and preservation specialists Ayon Studio to erect a 16-story glass tower at the site, which includes plans to “enclose the interior landmark, and to disassemble, restore off-site, and reinstall salvaged ornamental plasterwork and woodwork and replicas” in a new residential lobby. Despite some opposition from the Historic Districts Council (HDC) regarding public accessibility, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted in favor of the plan, congratulating the architects and expressing great admiration for their design.
More details ahead
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The iconic New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is set to undergo a $14.25 million renovation funded by the city. As first reported by the Queens Chronicle, repairs of the monument will begin next spring, which will include some structural conservation work and electrical and architectural improvements. The pavilion, which was originally designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin, has been ignored for the past few decades, largely in part because of the city’s failure to find the money for repairs.
Find out more
World’s Fair Terminal Station. Photo via Bill Cotter
There was, for a short time, a line of the IND (Independent) subway that was built for the 1939/1940 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the second most expansive American world’s fair of all time (second only to the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904). The event brought over 44 million people to the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park site. To make visting the fair more convenient, the city created a new dedicated subway line extension and terminal, then the only line owned by the city.
The extension began on a bridge (called a flying junction) running through Jamaica Yard near what is now the Forest Hills-71st Street stop on today’s M/R lines. The extension turned north along the east side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park over a wooden trestle and ended at the newly-created World’s Fair Terminal Station, which had two tracks and three platforms. The two-mile addition cost $1.7 million to build.
Find out what happened
These days in New York, it’s hard to get very far without running into impossibly high price tags, whether it be for a luxury condo or a Brooklyn brownstone. And in this case, you can go very far–all the way to Flushing, a Queens neighborhood that’s close to Long Island–and you may still do a double-take at the pricing.
The property in question is a freestanding Colonial home at 40-27 166th Street, just a few blocks from the Broadway Long Island Railroad stop. Flushing may be known as New York’s second Chinatown, but this home is located in a much more suburban area, where the houses come with front lawns and garages. As for the price, it comes in at $1.15 million.
See the interior
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
After 8,000 hours and 1,600 gallons of paint, the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow is camera-ready for its spot on Open House New York Weekend. The Daily News reports that Philip Johnson‘s iconic World’s Fair structure in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is now sporting a fresh coat of “American Cheese Yellow” paint. The job “included power-washing off decades of rust, applying primer and the historically accurate paint while working on a platform suspended 100 feet in the air,” and it cost $3 million. It’ll certainly be all over Instagram tomorrow and Sunday, but some ambitious architecture lovers have already gotten up close to the landmark.
Have a look at the pictures here