The New York State Pavilion has a tremendous history and an uncertain future. Designed by legendary architect Philip Johnson and built for the 1964 World’s Fair, it once had 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 square-foot roof with multi-colored panels. It also boasted three towers (measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet, respectively) and a 26-foot replica of the St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant. Then there was Texaco’s map of New York State with 400-pound terrazzo mosaic panels. An estimated 51 million walked through it.
After the World’s Fair, the site was a concert venue — the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones played there — and even a roller rink. But it experienced years of neglect and abandonment until People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group, was launched about three years ago.
Details: Modern Ruin, Queens Historical Society, Weeping Beach Park, 143-35 37th Avenue, Flushing, July 26, 2:30 pm, $10 with limited seating.
A trailer to the documentary film “Modern Ruin” popped up on our radar, it’s a homage to the now-crumbling World Fair Pavilion that is so iconic to the Queens’ landscape. According to the official website, filmmaker Matthew Silva plans to “tell the story of the Pavilion from the glory days of the fair, through the years of neglect, up to present day advocacy.” He hopes the film will push people to advocate for, and re-imagine Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the repurposing of the structure. Considering the impending creation of a nonprofit conservancy or an alliance for the park, the iconic Philip Johnson design may just see a second life in (we hope!) the near future.