Queens Borough President Melinda Katz declared on Thursday, February 6, that the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park should not be torn down.
“The New York State Pavilion is an architectural marvel that was a major attraction at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, one of the most important events in our borough’s history,” Katz said. “Today this distinctive structure continues to be an awe-inspiring icon for both Queens residents and our many visitors. Given all that, I say we should do what it takes to make sure the Pavilion remains standing for future preservations to enjoy.”
Katz made her declaration during a walking tour of the structure that was led by Parks Department officials and included Assemblymember Margaret Markey, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz, City Council member Rory Lancman and representatives from the offices of Congressman Joseph Crowley, Congresswoman Grace Meng and City Council member Karen Koslowitz. Also taking part were community board representatives, members of the media and civic leaders, including members of People for the Pavilion, a group that has advocated for the Pavilion’s preservation.
During the tour, the Borough President announced she was forming a task force made up of elected officials and community leaders and advocates who will meet regularly at Queens Borough Hall to formulate a plan for the Pavilion’s future.
The City-owned Pavilion has fallen into extensive disrepair since the World’s Fair. Recently, various plans, which require different levels of funding, have been proposed for preserving the structure. The most elaborate and expensive plans would modernize the Pavilion so it can be turned into a high-concept, multi-use facility. Less elaborate plans call work to be done to stabilize the structure without converting it into a facility for public use.
The Borough President said she hopes the task force will forge a consensus among all interested parties as to the best way forward for the Pavilion, before it is allowed to deteriorate too much further.
“Input from the community should and will have a major impact on what the Pavilion’s future will be,” Katz said.
Katz organized Thursday’s walking tour so she and her elected colleagues and other community leaders could get a better idea of the structure’s current condition. She also said she hoped the tour would stimulate some much needed discussion about the Pavilion’s fate.