BY MATT SHORTALL
One of New York City’s most recognizable structures is set to get a makeover.
The New York State Pavilion, built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, it had been neglected for years, until recently when it was given a paint job and structural work, and now a contest is underway to compete to design the structure for a new generation.
More than 250 design plans from across the country and around the world have been submitted to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to reimagine the Pavilion.
The National Trust, in cooperation with Borough President Melinda Katz and the non-profit group People for the Pavilion, is sponsoring the International Ideas Competition to repurpose the long-idle landmark in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“This fun, interactive campaign is – by design – an important part of the overall efforts to restore this National Treasure into a visible icon befitting the World’s Borough for generations of families and visitors to enjoy,” said Katz in a statement.
Jason Clement, the community outreach director for the National Trust, believes history is worth the cost of preservation. “Some of the most recognizable structures that we all know and love were actually built for [the] World’s Fair, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle. So, the Pavilion is truly in great company,” said Clement via email. “This Philip Johnson-designed masterpiece is not only a New York City icon, but could be a dynamic focal point for a resurgent Queens.”
Among the hundreds of proposals submitted, the creative renderings include “Tomorrowland: Where Future Histories are Imagined,” which envisions the Pavilion as an ancient ruin covered in ivy and allows visitors to contemplate their own place in the long arc of history.
For beer lovers, “Queens Brew” aspires to build an urban hops garden inside the Pavilion that will serve up locally brewed refreshments.
“We could not be more excited with the creativity and depth of the entries we have received,” said Clement. “Everyone from a thirteen-year-old kid to professional architects have weighed in with their vision for the future of the Pavilion.”
All proposals can be viewed on Savingplaces.org, where visitors can vote for their favorite.
On July, 18, the submission with the most votes will be crowned the “Fan Favorite” and win $500. First, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will receive $3,000, $1,000 and $500 respectively. The judges’ picks will be announced on Aug. 3.
An exhibition spotlighting all the winners will begin on Aug. 8 at the Queens Museum and run through the end of the month.