At the 50th anniversary celebration Tuesday of the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows, a representative from the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that the iconic but rusting New York State Pavilion has been named as one of the trust’s “National Treasures.”
With a thousand or more people waiting to get an interior glimpse of the pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow, Paul Goldberger, a National Trust board member, said the “National Treasures” list recognizes historically, culturally and architecturally important sites” to raise awareness and funding for their preservation. There are only 44 sites in the United Sates granted the designation.
He was joined by the Parks Department as well as elected officials to celebrate the fair and draw attention to the pavilion, the future of which has long been problematic. But as Goldberger said, “For a long time its future was a question mark; in the future it will be an exclamation point.”
Tuesday’s event continued to signal that the Parks Department is now behind efforts to preserve the Philip Johnson-designed pavilion. Various plans for its future are under consideration with an estimated price tag of $72 million to restore it or $14 million to demolish it.
Borough President Melinda Katz said at the ceremony that as far as she is concerned, the $14 million can go toward restoring it.