The climax of “Men in Black” (1997) would make you think they are derelict spaceships waiting to be hijacked by extraterrestrials, but they are actually observation towers adjacent to the New York State Pavilion.
And this month, the city will begin work that has been in procurement since 2015 to restore the rusted monuments erected for the 1964 World’s Fair in the 1960s just as Borough President Melinda Katz’ office has worked to redeem the pavilion itself.
Up to $24,097,000 has been secured from the mayor’s office, the borough president and City Council to reconstruct “portions” of the towers which will be completed by the city Department of Parks and Recreation by March 2021, the agency said.
Parks will reconstruct stairwells, fix drainage features, restore suspension cables as well as concrete and the lighting design. Waterproofing of the tower bases will also be completed.
While a groundbreaking ceremony is in the works – date to be announced – this revitalization project will not give visitors the ability to actually access the observation towers as they would gave done nearly 60 years ago, a Parks spokeswoman said. There will still need to be further investment in the integrity of the structure before it is safe for public access.
But the agency hopes accent the skyline with new lighting.
Designed by Philip Johnson, the towers have not seen any significant investment since they were built.
About $13.118 million of the funds were allocated by Katz’s office, while $1.979 million from City Council and $9 million from the mayor’s office also helped the project along.