Happy 50th Anniversary: New York State Pavilion & 1964-65 New York World’s Fair
I remember my first visit to New York City: in the backseat of a yellow cab, I drove by these strange structures that resemble flying saucers more than anything else, adding to the magical atmosphere of this city. I soon learned that these flying saucers were part of the New York State Pavilion, designed by architect Phillip Johnson for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
As a current resident of Queens, Flushing Meadow Park and its public attractions are important to my family and me. Countless visits to the Zoo, the Hall of Science, Queens Museum, Theater in the Park or just cooling down in the mist of the Unisphere's fountain all occurred in the presence of these alien-looking structures.
I always wondered if these historic structures would ever be saved or restored. Until now, the remnants of the New York State Pavilion appear to be permanently fenced off, protecting against intruders or preventing visitors from falling in the debris of the crumbling structures.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964-65 World's Fair as well as the New York State Pavilion. For the first time in decades, the New York State Pavilion will be opened to the public today, with an opening ceremony at 10:45 AM, followed by public tours of the site between 11 AM and 2 PM. The celebration for this historic anniversary continues with the World's Fair Anniversary Festival, hosted by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, on May 18, 2014.
Will the current campaign to save the New York State Pavilion breathe new hope in preserving these historic structures? I certainly hope so.