$4.8 Million To Begin Restoration
The effort to restore the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park got a funding boost of $4.8 million allocated in the city budget, it was announced last Thursday, June 26.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has advocated for funds to restore the structure since taking office. Her office allocated $979,000 and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito earmarked another $628,000, Katz said.
In a statement, she praised the mayor and council for providing a portion of the funds necessary to restore the Pavillion.
Katz believes the Pavilion and Unisphere should be restored, as these structures are iconic symbols of the borough welcoming visitors to Queens. She spoke on their significance at several community board meetings, most recently in the last month.
In total, $5.86 million has been allocated from the three sources. The funds will be used to upgrade the electrical system, rebuild the staircases inside the Pavilion’s three towers and repair the concrete platforms supporting the observation decks atop each tower, a statement said.
“I am thrilled that Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and the City Council have recognized the importance of taking this first step to help ensure the New York State Pavilion will be enjoyed and admired by Queens residents and visitors for many decades to come,” Katz said. Along with the nearby Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion has become a symbol of the Borough of Queens that reminds us of the excitement and hopefulness the world felt at the beginning of the Space Age. The Pavilion keeps us connected to that history while it also serves as an icon of Queens that is recognized around the world.”
The Pavilion was designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by the late Philip Johnson to refect a Space-Age architectural style. In April, the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Pavilion on its list of National Treasures, one of only 44 sites in the country to receive this designation. This program recognizes historically, culturally and architecturally important sites to raise awareness and funding for their preservation, a statement said.
“Its preservation will aid our efforts to rebrand Queens as a toplevel tourist destination that we call ‘The World’s Borough,'” Katz added.
“Restoring the Pavilion is the right thing to do at just the right time,” Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmark’s Conservancy said. “We agree with the Borough President that the restored Pavilion will be a wonderful representation of the vitality of the borough and provide a space for all kinds of events that will draw not just people from Queens, but people from around the city and visitors from around the world.”