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The Tent of Tomorrow lit up in green
Photograph: courtesy of NYC Parks and Daniel Avila

NYC will light up the once-abandoned relics of the 1964 World’s Fair every night

Repairs on the New York State Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pavilion have finally finished.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Like Manhattan’s Empire State Building and the BQE’s Kosciuszko Bridge, this Queens landmark will light up every night. Like a beacon, it’ll welcome travelers into the city and be a source of pride for locals.

NYS Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow and Towers, some of the most recognizable structures in Queens and in all of NYC, have finished Phase 1 of its renovation and will now be shown off with lights, according to NYC Parks.

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To celebrate, the parks department lit them “parks green” on Saturday night.

Going forward, the Towers and Tent will be lit every night, seven days a week, and follow a specific schedule for holidays and special events, the agency says.

"For nearly 60 years the NYS Pavilion's Tower and Tent of Tomorrow has stood tall above Queens' beloved jewel, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, representing hope during challenging and changing times,” said Anthony Sama, the NYC Parks FMCP Administrator and the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Executive Director. "Now, decades later, it illuminates our skyline once again, shining brightly on our vibrant and thriving park, welcoming its more than 10 million annual visitors. We congratulate NYC Parks on this great achievement.” 

NYS Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pavilion lit up in green
Photograph: courtesy of NYC Park and Daniel Avila

The renovation project, which cost $24 million, stabilized the towers by replacing their suspension cables and stairs and repairing their concrete towers; introduced new electrical (including equipment for an NYPD Mobile Command Center for vehicles); restored the original blue globe lighting at the Towers; and installed new architectural lighting.

Phase 2 is currently being planned but would Phase II of the project is currently in the planning stages, but would bring increased stability to the structures and allow for limited guided tours of the towers in the future, NYC Parks says.

If you didn’t know, the New York State Pavilion was created for the 1964-5 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park by Philip Johnson. There are three towers—the two shorter ones held cafeterias for the fair, and the tallest had an observation deck—and the adjacent “Theaterama.” In that building, visitors to the fair got to see Pop Art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

The Theaterama building was converted into the Queens Playhouse in 1972, which was there until 1985.

It’s about time these historic structures got their time to shine again.

“Along with brightening our skies, the lighting of the Pavilion will brighten the hearts of Queens residents both young and old, especially those who have fond memories of attending the 1964 World’s Fair,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Thanks to this important restoration work, new generations of residents and visitors will be able to make memories when they visit this iconic and brilliantly illuminated structure.” 

the NYS Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park lit in green
Photograph: courtesy of NYC Park and Daniel Avila

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