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Curbed Cuts: Tour the New York State Pavilion, another Jehovah’s Witnesses site sells, and more

Three things you need to know today

Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.

Go inside a World’s Fair landmark

It’s not every day that you get to venture inside the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but a lucky group of 20 will be able to do just that very soon. Untapped Cities is offering a free, one-time tour of the iconic, Philip Johnson-designed structure on June 10.

Those interested will have to enter a giveaway, and Untapped Cities will then pick the 20 winners who will get to go on the tour, and learn about the different groups currently involved with the pavilion, spend time walking around and inside the pavilion, and learn about the challenges of developing the space for future uses.

This particular tour is being organized in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the city’s Parks Department. Recently a fundraising effort has been underway to restore the terrazzo floor of the pavilion.

Jehovah’s Witnesses part ways with more real estate

One of the last parcels of land owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Dumbo will soon be in the hands of developer Jeffrey Gershon. According to The Real Deal, a one-story garage at 74 Adams Street, between York and Front streets, is expected to close for around $60 million. Gershon wouldn’t comment on his plans for the 200,000-square-foot space but zoning rules allow for the creation of both residential and retail space.

It’s the latest real estate move for the religious organization, which has been selling off its portfolio of Brooklyn properties as the group transitions into its new headquarters in Warwick, New York. In December 2016, a nearby four-story recreational facility at 69 Adams Street sold to Brooklyn-based development firm Rabsky Group for an impressive $65 million.

Developers CIM Group, Kushner Companies, and LIVWRK announced the acquisition of the Jehovah's Witnesses’ Watchtower building in a joint venture valued at $340 million last summer and more recently, the religious organization sold an 11-story Brooklyn Heights rental building at 107 Columbia Heights to Clipper Realty for an undisclosed amount.

L train shutdown means non-eco-friendly buses?

The city is still sorting out ways to accommodate passengers during its impending 15-month L train shutdown, but additional buses between Brooklyn and Manhattan are basically a given. The MTA has brought up adding 200 diesel buses to its fleet for those additional trips, but one eco-conscious state lawmaker is urging the agency to consider enlisting hybrid or electric buses instead.

Senator Brad Holyman penned a letter to the agency, asking it to cancel its contract for the diesel buses and invest in a “healthier greener New York,” reports DNAinfo. “While I understand that the MTA is beholden to financial restrictions, I must ask, at what cost to our environment?” Holyman said.

But it’s not quite so simple, at least according to the MTA: the agency’s executive director Ronnie Hakim says that electric buses aren’t exactly feasible since they require years of testing before they can hit the road.

Last week, the MTA and the Department of Transportation presented a proposal to add an HOV lane on the Williamsburg Bridge in to help move people along during the shutdown as well as a new ferry route that would run from North Williamsburg to 20th Street.