The New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation to shore it up for the next generation of visitors. Designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin, the pavilion has largely been left to time over the past half-century. Efforts to preserve the structures—including the Tent of Tomorrow and the observation towers, most recently made famous by Men In Black—have been sparse as the city’s struggled to nail down funding (except for that time the Mets pitched in.)
Now the Queens Chronicle reports that the effort to maintain the largely decrepit structures just got a $14.25 million cash infusion. The project will include structural conservation work and waterproofing for the towers, and improvements to the electrical infrastructure and architectural lighting of the observation towers and the Tent of Tomorrow, according to a Parks spokesperson. The design process is currently underway with construction set to begin next spring. Of the $14.25 million, $7 million was allocated by Mayor De Blasio, $6.45 million by Borough President Melinda Katz, and $800,000 by the City Council.
It’s been a good, long while since any meaningful gains to preserve the integrity of the space age monuments have been made. The Tent of Tomorrow got an American cheese yellow paint job back in October 2015, returning it to its historically accurate color, but few if any efforts have been made to ensure the pavilion’s structural longevity. For a while, the city kicked the idea of demoing the structures but decided it was too costly.
Curbed has reached out to the Parks Department for comment.