New York State Pavilion Opening to Public to Begin Anniversary Events

By Katie Honan on March 18, 2014 5:05pm 

 The historic pavilion will be officially opened to the public on April 22.
The historic pavilion will be officially opened to the public on April 22.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — The New York State Pavilion will be open to the public in April to help celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Fans interested in getting a glimpse of the inside of the crumbling but historic structure, which was built for the 1964 World's Fair, will get the chance on Tuesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., according to the People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group.

The group wrote on its Facebook page that the Philip Johnson-designed structure, which has been in disrepair but received a fresh coat of paint over the weekend, will be open "thanks to the work of the New York State Pavilion Paint Project Crew, as well as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation."

The event is sponsored by the Parks Department and the New York State Pavilion Paint Crew.

The Pavilion last served as a roller rink decades ago until the roof was found to be unstable in 1976.

A Parks Department spokesman said they host tours of the tent a few times a year, with the most recent one last month.

"NYC Parks hosts periodic tours of Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s World’s Fair sites, including the area of the Pavilion under the Tent of Tomorrow, though our Urban Park Rangers history programs," he said.

"More than 50 people attended the last tour, held a few weeks ago," he said.

The April event will be the first of many celebrations honoring the 1964 World's Fair, he said.

Limited access will be granted through the north gate of the pavilion, the organizers said, and hard hats will be provided. Those interested will not have to RSVP for the free tour.

Last fall, the Parks Department presented its findings from two studies, one conducted in 2009 and the other in 2012, which offer suggestions on what to do about the three towers and the "Tent of Tomorrow," which have rusted through neglect.

They were left with three options from those studies: demolish the structures, stabilize them, or restore and reuse them for other purposes, according to the presentation.

The options all came at a hefty price, running from $14 million to more than $70 million.

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