Designed by Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair to embody the architectural essence of Space Age futurism, the New York State Pavilion has been battered by the ensuing decades to the point of becoming valued as an “historic ruin.” As 6sqft previously reported, plans to restore the site have been progressing slowly even with new funding from the city. Now, Curbed reports, the iconic site in Flushing, Queens, will be getting a $16.5 million grant from FEMA for Hurricane Sandy-related repairs.
new york state pavilion
Image: NYC Design Awards.
Designed by starchitect Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair to embody the architectural essence of Space Age futurism, the New York State Pavilion, has, in the ensuing decades, become what amNY called a “hulking 54-year-old relic of the World’s Fair,” though it has never lost its modernist cachet and has gained value as an historic ruin of sorts. Recently, talk of restoring the pavilion beyond its current inglorious purgatory slowly appears to be moving toward actual plans with funding attached. City officials and preservationists have secured $14 million for specific repairs and improvements to the pavilion.
Uncover secrets of the World’s Fair with free, monthly walking tours of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Wed, April 25, 2018
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 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.
Yesterday, 6sqft shared some of the best and wackiest proposals from an ideas competition reimagining Philip Johnson‘s iconic New York State Pavilion. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, it’s struggled in recent years to find financial support, and the competition is a way to drum up enthusiasm for the necessary $52 restoration.
The ideas ranged from the expected (elevated parks, event spaces) to the socially conscious (refugee housing, a homeless shelter) to the totally out there (a cheeseburger museum, a UFO landing pad). And while a new incarnation for the historic site would certainly draw visitors and interest, is that the appropriate way to honor the cultural and architectural merit of a structure that was built for a specific purpose at a very special point in time? Plus, preservationists have already secured close to $6 million for repairs, and the structure got a $3 million paint job last year.
Philip Johnson‘s iconic New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, but has struggled in recent decades to find its purpose. Because of its architectural and cultural merit, however, preservations have made great strides in the past several years: a restoration task force secured $5.8 million for repairs in 2014; it received a $3 million paint job last fall; and now it’s creating quite the buzz thanks to an ideas competition put on by the the National Trust for Historic Preservation and People for the Pavilion (h/t WSJ).
The competition, which organizers hope could help drum up enough enthusiasm to aid in the $52 million total restoration, has drawn more than 250 submission, including wacky ideas like a cheeseburger museum, a giant time-telling machine, and a UFO landing pad to more practical functions like a brewery, hanging gardens, live-work space for artists, and event venues.
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.
- Head to the Queens Theatre on May 22 and 23 for the world premier of “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion,” a documentary about the history of Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion. [Brownstoner Queens]
- Like your burger delivered to you by a waitress on roller skates? Here’s a list of drive-in restaurants near NYC. [Gothamist]
- Hudson Yards may be getting a giant food hall from Shake Shack restaurateur Danny Meyer. [Crain’s]
- Which borough are you? Take the quiz. [Refinery 29]
- For some reason, the streets of Bed-Stuy are filled with chicken bones and rubber gloves. A new blog chronicles the neighborhood’s waste problem. [DNAinfo]
- After just six weeks, one-third ($1.1B) of 220 Central Park West has been sold. “Acceptance by brokers and buyers has been extraordinary and unprecedented.” [TRD]
- One Vanderbilt is well on its way to becoming a reality. This morning SL Green cleared its final major hurdle, receiving approval, with some amendments, by a key City Council subcommittee. [Crain’s]
- Philip Johnson’s iconic New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will get a free $3 million facelift. Bridge and steel painters are donating their time to restore the structure. [NYDN]
- Queens tallest tower has hit the market. [TRD]
- Tiengarden, a 20-year-old vegan eatery in the LES, is shuttering because of a rent hike. [DNA Info]
- The historic Helmsley Building has sold for $1.2B. [NYDN]
Images: 220 Central Park South (L); NY State Pavilion (R)
- To coincide with Sunday’s fare hike, the MTA has released an online MetroCard calculator. How nice of them! [NYDN]
- Brooklyn’s debt is double the national average. [amNY]
- The inevitable has finally happened — 190 Bowery, the former Germania Bank Building famous for its graffiti, now has retail leasing banners. [Bowery Boogie]
- A new city program aims to help independent restaurants thrive. [BK Mag]
- Five teens got busted after climbing Philip Johnson‘s New York State Pavilion with spray paint–not the first vandalism on the iconic World’s Fair structure. [NYDN]
- It costs an average of $82 for a night out in NYC, less than in Chicago, Atlanta, and LA. [BI]
- Futuristic starchitect Zaha Hadid collaborates on a pair of sculptural wooden vases. [Designboom]
Images: MetroCard (L); 190 Bowery (R)