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January 28, 2002


Cites Mayor Bloomberg's Inaugural Call to New Yorkers to "Plan for the Future"


Citing New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's Inaugural Message, a chief proponent of plans to create an Air & Space Museum at the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is asking New Yorkers to "dream big" in considering the future of the derelict structure.

Frankie Campione, Principal of CREATE Architecture Planning and Design, Manhattan, and Dr. Charles Aybar, an aviation consultant from Scottsdale, Arizona, have developed a plan that would turn the former World's Fair pavilion into a glass enclosed aviation museum. The building has been abandoned for decades and the two believe that something must be done with the building in the near future or it will have deteriorated beyond being able to be salvaged.

Campione stated that work on their project has been on-going throughout the fall. Within weeks of the September 11th attack, meetings were held between the City Parks Engineering Department and the structural engineering firm of Meyer Consulting of Maryland to discuss plans developed by Campione and Meyer Consulting for stabilization procedures on the structure, meetings that Campione stated "were very productive." Campione and Aybar contend that the pavilion is in need of stabilization because it has a foundation that was designed for a temporary World's Fair structure and it rests on unstable land that was once a huge ash dump in the 1930s. These two facts combined with years of neglect have seriously weakened the foundation of the building. Campione and Aybar believe that plans for any type of reuse for the structure cannot be pursued unless necessary repairs are made to stabilize the building first.

"Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is aware of our proposals to stabilize and reuse the building. We will soon be formally requesting a meeting with the Borough President to present our proposal to her and her staff" said Campione. "We were also very encouraged by the support our plans received last fall from the pavilion's original designer, renown architect Philip Johnson, and his partner, Alan Ritchie."

"I am heartened by the words of Mayor Bloomberg's Inaugural Address in which the Mayor urged New Yorkers to 'plan and develop for the long term.' The Mayor said, 'Let us not forget we are still a City of big dreams, of big ideas, of big projects and a big heart. We can never abandon our future.' He reminded citizens that the parks and infrastructure of the City's five Boroughs could not be ignored saying, 'We will plan now and build as funds become available.'"

"I know it is difficult to imagine such a costly project in light of the austere times we are facing and with the reverberations of September 11th still being felt throughout our city" said Campione. "But, as Mayor Bloomberg reminds us, New York has always been a city of big dreams and a city that looks to the future. We must continue to plan and develop for the long term to restore the New York State Pavilion and take action as we are able to create a lasting legacy for our children. We believe our dream for this landmark building is an attainable dream."

Additional information on the project can be found on-line at