Leading Preservation Organization and People for the Pavilion to Host Pop-Up Community Events to Capture Creative Reuse Ideas for Queens Landmark

Washington (March 9, 2016) – The National Trust for Historic Preservation and People for the Pavilion are today announcing an international ideas competition to solicit imaginative and creative input for how the New York State Pavilion in Queens, NY can once again become a focal point of community life in New York City. The ideas competition website is open for entries now until Friday, July 1. The competition’s objectives, requirements, and resources to assist applicants can be found here.

The competition will be judged by both the public for a fan favorite and a panel of local leaders and architecture experts, who will be announced next week. With support from leaders, including Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, the competition will also include numerous community events scheduled to take place in Queens in the coming months.


To drive community interest in the competition, the National Trust and People for the Pavilion have partnered with two cutting-edge, Queens-based placemaking organizations—RPGA Studio and Hibridos Collective.

RPGA Studio will implement a series of public events at the Queens Museum. These programs will utilize virtual reality technology to allow participants to experience the historic New York State Pavilion “first-hand.” These virtual visioning events will be held this spring and summer:

Hibridos Collective will help re-envision the iconic structure using community-based art practices and a “People’s Tent of Tomorrow” pop-up paying homage to the Pavilion. Participants will enter the tent and learn about the significance and history of the Pavilion through educational and archival materials. The public will then be invited to represent and share their ideas for the future of the Pavilion by drawing, sketching, doodling, or creating other forms of design to illustrate their visions for the structure with the assistance of an art educator. Hibridos Collective events will take place on these dates at these various locations:


A fan favorite winner, determined by online voting, will be announced on July 18. The competition’s first, second, and third place winners will be determined by the prestigious jury of design, architectural, and community planning experts and announced on Thursday, August 4, at a special event at the Queens Museum. The National Trust and People for the Pavilion will install and host an exhibit on the winning entries that will remain on public display throughout the month of August.

There will be cash prizes for all winners, including $3,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place, and $500 for the fan favorite.


Named a National Treasure by the National Trust in April 2014, many believe the New York State Pavilion, designed by Philip Johnson, was the finest architectural achievement of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Today, the Pavilion is an exhilarating public building that stands as a reminder of iconic civic architecture from the 1960’s, soaring high above a thriving Queens’ community and within one of the city’s greatest parks. Shuttered for decades, it is challenged by deterioration and is the only element remaining from the 1964-65 World’s Fair that has not yet been restored or adapted. This ideas competition aims to vigorously address feasible reuse plans for the remarkable building.

“As simple as it sounds, saving places often starts with giving people a voice,” said Salmaan Khan co-founder, People for the Pavilion. “This ‘anything goes’ ideas competition will do just that through engaging on-the-ground events where Queens residents can get involved and help reignite the long-held enthusiasm for this one-of-a-kind structure.”

“We want not only to shine a spotlight on the history of the New York State Pavilion, but also to lasso the imaginations of the many who care about this icon and who want a vibrant future for it,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “For this reason, the National Trust is honored to be co-hosting this competition along with the People for the Pavilion. We look forward to this summer’s culminating exhibit where we will present the most creative exciting entries for the Pavilion’s future use from around the country and worldwide.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, a longtime advocate for the restoration of the Pavilion who has successfully secured over $10 million in public funds to date toward important electrical and structural improvements on the “Astro-View” Towers, said, “This is an international open call for your best and boldest ideas to re-imagine the Pavilion for the 21st century. 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.” Katz added, “We’re offering the latest tools of virtual reality technology, time-tested community-based art practices, and good old friendly competition to envision a boundless future for the ‘Tent of Tomorrow.’”

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About People for the Pavilion

People for the Pavilion (PFP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to develop a vibrant community around the New York State Pavilion and to raise awareness about the structure. PFP raises awareness through public programs, events, and online communications, and reaches out to individuals, organizations, and institutions about the preservation effort, particularly those based around Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.savingplaces.org