Monday, March 14, 2016

ODD BITS: The "Tent of Tomorrow": A Modern Ruin in NYC

If you're ever driven on the Grand Central Parkway near Corona Park in Queens, NY,
you've probably wondered what that colossal, bizarre structure is that you're seeing 
but not quite believing. It's in fact the ruins of a building designed  by modernist 
architect Philip Johnson for the blockbuster 1964 World's Fair. 
The futuristic "Tent of Tomorrow" -- the expo's New York state pavilion -- 
 now stands crumbling, having garnered the dubious distinction of being named 
one of the world's top 100 endangered monuments.

Left: The New York State Pavilion in its heyday. The venue included observation towers, a
multi-colored glass ceiling,
and terazzo flooring.

“a sophisticated frivolity…seriously and beautifully constructed … a ‘carnival’ with class.”

Critic Louise Huxtable called the structure
“a sophisticated frivolity…seriously and beautifully constructed … 
a ‘carnival’ with class.”

Since its demise 50 years ago as a going concern, it has been used as 
a concert venue (1960s), a roller rink (1970s) and a film set. 
(The observation decks were re-imagined as spaceships in 
the original Men In Black.)

The New York branch of the AIA (American Institute of Architects)
will screen "Modern Ruin: A World's Fair Pavilion", a 2015 film about the 
building and recent efforts to repurpose it, on Wed., Feb. 10 at 6PM.  
Link here for details.


"The dreamers see beyond the cracks, rust, and neglect to a 
thriving community space that will serve New Yorkers for generations."
                                                                      ... Matthew Silva, filmmaker and
                                                               co-founder of People For the Pavilion 

The public is invited to submit ideas for the repurposing
of the 1964 World's Fair NYS Pavilion. Link here
for more information about the Pavilion Ideas Competition, "an
'anything goes' approach to radically reimagine one of NYC's most 
iconic buildings and a defining landmark of Queens."

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1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in reserving this beautiful place. Placing a music show which does not have cultural preferences becomes difficult in a banquet hall environment. It requires planning and decorating imagination. The party venues have the right décor for any event.