Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Eliminating an Eyesore

For more than a decade, there was an ambitious plan being formulated to revitalize the rotting '64 World's Fair structures in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Unfortunately, as it wasn't something that would benefit Manhattanites, no one in the NYC Parks Department gave a damn about it. Why should they put money into a park that only immigrants and white trash use? It's much more important to make sure yuppies in Tribeca and the Upper West Side have nice places to unwind.

However, there is a call to revisit the plan, and the people of Queens must not rest until this blight on our borough is corrected. This is supposed to be our flagship park. It has acres upon acres of wide open space, and historic structures with lots of potential. There is no excuse for it to look like a dump.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

About 20 years ago, a design team and I approached the NYC Park officials about renovating some of Flushing Meadows Park structures including the New York State Pavilion. I was working with a professional design group and had corporate sponsorship in place. As I recall, Arne Abramowitz was in charge of the Flushing Park and, in good faith, encouraged us to develop the project. After a series of meetings, we were sent to the Parks Department headquarters in Central Park. We outlined our plans and were hopeful that we could restore and renovate some of the facilities. We were then told that the NYC Parks Department could not accept corporate funding and were unceremoniously sent packing. I have harbored bitter feelings ever since as our personal funds and efforts were for nothing. Why weren't we told about this before we drew up plans and involved other business associates? I would like to see someone save the towers!

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: Do you still have the plans?

I personally love the architectural treasures of this park and would love to see it fixed up.

Anonymous said...

About 15 years ago, we made some very serious efforts to save the 1939 Worlds Fair relic, "The Aquacade". An entertainment group (with great proffessional experience) had all the money needed already raised. They wanted to fully restore this, former Billy Rose theatre, with all its wonderful Art Deco details. The type of entertainment that they were going to feature was light pop and classical musical programs. We had met with a top level entertainment attorney to try and finalize the plan. Guess what, Claire Shulman & Co. turned down this empressario twice. Could it have been because he was the wrong combination of color and ethnic mix? Some lame brained excuses were offered by Borough Hall &Co. They even tried to prove that the site was contaminated, which questionable testing really couldn't fully prove. And the rest is history. And so was The Aquacade! Let's see if Philip Johnson's New York State Pavillion towers (and the rest) meet a better fate!

Anonymous said...

I remember that one well. It sat vacant for years until we tried to save it. Nothing destroys a building in Queens like getting on the preservationists' radar. It was even torn down while its namesake, Gertrude Ederle, who was in her 90s, was still alive. Thats real class. Shul-manus said that they should keep it empty until they 'found a use for the slab.' A pity. One wag at the time said, “It took a slob to give a the people of Queens a slab.”

Queens Crapper said...

Why don't we rename the crumbling structures the Bloomberg Pavilion? It embodies the Mayor's attitude toward Queens.

Anonymous said...

How about the 'Preservation Pavilion?'

It would be a good exmaple of the state of preservation in the city today.

Anonymous said...

I posted the original message. Unfortunately, the design team and plans are no longer accessible. Thanks to modern technology, the designs would also be outdated. I would be more than happy to participate in future plans. Here's a thought...why can't David Oats be the park's commissioner. His passion and committment are just what Flushing Meadows-Corona Park needs. The historical monument damaged during last year's tennis tournament is unacceptable. Save the Park!

verdi said...

We haven't seen him do much lately except "be-moan the loss". But I'm not blaming him for that. The interest in historic preservation in this borough seems to have been flushed down the drain by our past and present Borough Presidents and has been replaced with endless vistas of Queens - crap construction!

The Park Watchdog said...

The Park Watchdog said...
We are the Flushing Meadows - Corona Park World's Fair Association. In recent months, we have exposed many scandals and safety problems in Flushing Meadows - Corona Park to the media and public officials which would have gone otherwise totally unnoticed had it not been for our constant watch on this park. We exposed that the safety aviation warning light on top of the New York State Pavilion went out twice placing park goers and airline passengers alike in grave danger. We exposed the fact that it took months, not hours, to replace this light that requires changing or notification to the FAA within 30 minutes of the bulb being out. We exposed the fact that the Heads of State Monument had fallen. And we counted the days we noticed it lay on the ground, just feet in front of the Administrator's office, without being up righted. We created the positive and practical plan for moving the monument to a safer and more proud location. We advocated safely managing the erection of the monument to prevent damage. We also exposed the key parking scandal on our public ball fields, grasslands, bike paths and play areas where the city thought it could simply allow unsafe driving conditions and oil to drip into our recreation and open spaces. We also created the program for Governor Spitzer to restore the New York State Pavilion. We have spent our totally volunteer time to making sure this park is safe and we have worked everyday on the Park's behalf. To suggest that, as one of the previous posters that said that we have not done anything and that we "bemoan the loss" does a disservice to our group’s hard efforts. We have worked hard for over 40 years to positively propose and suggest improvements to this park and preserve its incredible history and fight the Park’s departments complete disregard for this park. It is something we are proud of and we feel that in addition to positive proposals like the one's that can be found on our websites:

www.theparkwatchdog.org

www.newyorkstatepavilion.org

www.flushingremonstrance.org

that it is our obligation to point out the problems that the defamed the legacy of this great park. Anyone interested in supporting our positive efforts should contact us at:

pitbull@theparkwatchdog.org

David Oats, Chairman and Founder
Greg Godfrey, President