Quotes


Yesterday-

The pavilion to be built on this site will stand as testimony to other efforts, hand-in-hand with Fair officials and industry. The structure's nobility and grace will testify to the art of its famous architect, Philip Johnson, and to the skill and hard work of the men who will erect it.

Governor Nelson D. Rockefeller
Remarks made at Groundbreaking for NY State Pavilion
October 9, 1962

Today-

It's so neglected that when it burns out, sometimes it takes weeks to relamp the anti-collision light at the top of the tower warning inbound flights into LaGuardia.

Ken Thalheimer
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
August 3, 2000

Yesterday-

The New York State Building, built by the State of New York, is strongly recommended by the World's Fair Corporation for retention in the Post-Fair Park. We believe the towers of this structure constitute a natural tourist attraction. Moreover, the theater would be ideal for the Marionette theater and its related workshop, which are now inadequately accommodated in Central Park. The pavilion or tent would provide a covered area for athletic events, dancing and concerts similar to those which have proved so popular as part of the New York State Exhibit.

The Mayor's Committee
Post-Fair Engineering Report...Flushing Meadow
July 23, 1965

Today-

I don't know what the hell went on with that Pavilion but it is a crying shame in its current state. The New York City Parks Department had no problem in placing one of its medallions on the highest tower. Now they should do something more than that!

Mary Ellen Coghlan
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
July 23, 2000

Today-

The New York State Pavilion can and should be saved. It can serve its original purpose as an open air observation tower (there are none in Queens if memory serves). Its already adjacent to the Queens Theater, which seems to be doing pretty well on its own. While it would be an expensive endeavor, no one seems to understand why it was shut down in the first place. The tent area could be used during the summer as a concession stand of sorts, with perhaps a microcosmic summary of the history of the pavilion.

Fredrick Gilmore
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
July 22, 2000

Yesterday-

Four Fair pavilions - Denmark, IBM, New Jersey and Spain - were awarded citations for excellence in design by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Honorable mentions were given to Chrysler, Ireland, Maryland, New York State, Scott Paper, Venezuela and Westinghouse.

1965 Official Guide Book
New York World's Fair
April 21, 1965

Today-

While it is true that money could possibly save it, the source of money is the question. Private funds probably are the only way to pay for the expensive restoration needed, and one could expect very little return on such an investment. The problem is, if the building were to remain as a cultural center, and most of it is "open" to the elements, what could you possibly put in there? Maybe concerts, some art shows. But all of it would be on a limited basis. I'm afraid the same scenario of the Amphitheater ... is going to happen to the NYS Pavilion -- wait [until] it falls apart then demolish it.

Charles Aybar
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
July 18, 2000

Today-

The NYS pavilion is the only remaining building left from the Fair that is not really used (except for the theatre; the main part does not). So there it stands as a ghostly reminder to what was. Other structures such as the NYC building and the Science building are in operation today. But the NYS pavilion sits rotting away, chained up. The elevator sits perched half way up the tower in its original state (someone smashed the window within the last 2 years).

Ken Lahey
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
May 3, 2000

Yesterday-

The New York State Pavilion ... somehow captured, without belittling, the spirit of public assembly for entertainment; a walk-in, walk-out canopy connected to some observations towers; for all its decoration and high style, truly simple and truly an example of Mies van der Rohe's pronouncement, "less is more." Architect Philip Johnson and Governor Nelson Rockefeller deserve the credit for seeing through this affirmation of people's importance and noble character, amid denial and doubt.

Lost New York
Nathan Silver, Author
1967

Today-

I for one would like to see this hulk of a building brought back to its original glory. But there is something about this building that gives it a ghostly presence ... the fence, the chipping candy stripe paint. The broken elevator looming above on the tower, frozen for 30 years. I visit there at least once a year and each year it looks worse. The only thing you can count on is an abandoned car either inside or outside. (How do they get it inside?)

Ken Lahey
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
July 30, 2000

Yesterday-

Harrison and Abramovitz's Hall of Science was also preserved, as was Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion, which was actually built as a temporary structure, but was kept because it was too expensive to demolish.

Landmarks Preservation Commission
Designation List 263 LP-1925.
Footnotes #20 page seven
May 16, 1995

Today-

There are currently no plans to restore or tear down the New York State Pavilion at this time as the cost for either procedure is prohibitive. The building is checked for structural stability every six months and is currently passing all safety standards.

Estelle Cooper, Assistant Commissioner
eMail to Bruce Mentone
August 18, 2000

Today-

One possible new use would be as a cultural area under what used to be the "Tent of Tomorrow." [It] could be made into an outdoor theater/musical venue similar to Belvedere Theater in Central Park. The "tent" itself would have to be restored. The theater itself could perhaps house expanded space for the Queens Museum. Another opportunity for a new use could come if the City wins the bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games. As Shea Stadium and the National Tennis Center are included in the proposal already, the NYS pavilion could be renovated as a venue for one/several of the many smaller sports in the Olympics -- handball, judo, etc.

Gene Brennan
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
April 30, 2000

Yesterday-

We believe it is no exaggeration to say that two World's Fairs have produced here in the very center of New York, on the scene of a notorious ash dump, one of the very great municipal parks of our country.

Robert Moses
Post-Fair Engineering Report ... Flushing Meadow
July 23, 1965

Today-

I have thrilled to sights, sounds, and rotting smells of The Fountain of the Planets [at today's Flushing Meadow Park]. Its condition is indicative of a city that has lost the capacity to take care of itself. You don't know how embarrassing it is to bring people from out of state to see things in person they have only seen in pictures. You take them to Flushing Meadow Park to look at the old Fair structures, and they swear "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" was filmed on location there. I have ventured several times up to Seattle to visit the Space Needle and what was left over from their 1962 Fair. Needless to say, the Space Needle is in great shape. The grounds are kept up, and their Hall of Science runs like the one in NY does. Hopefully there are people of influence out there who will come to their senses and see that restoration and a connection to the past is a good thing.

Fredrick Gilmore
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
August 8, 2000

 

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