The Queens Museum of Art is one landmark that is unlikely to benefit from the new development in Flushing Meadows Park, say activists.
Jose Serrano, community organizer for the museum, said the U.S. Tennis Association’s economic impact on the area was “negligible.” Serrano said the three weeks during the US Open actually hurts walk-up business to the museum because of the crush of commuter traffic.
“The museum parking lots become overflooded with cars from Long Island, and actually people from the community can’t come in and enjoy the park or the museum,” Serrano said.
Serrano added that, while the additional developments may generate new foot traffic to the museum, the projects threaten artifacts from the two World’s Fairs held in the park that the museum is tasked with protecting.
“The museum has a responsibility also to protect that legacy of this park as a site of, not just passive recreation, but understanding of its history,” he said.
Industry Pond, built as a centerpiece of the 1964 World’s Fair and home to the Fountain of the Planets, is one element of World’s Fair infrastructure that would be erased by a new project. Once reaching 625 feet high, the fountain has now stagnated along with the rest of the pond, clogged with litter and algae.
Major League Soccer is proposing to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium on the site of the pond.
Serrano called Industry Pond “one of the most important aspects of the infrastructure that’s left about the World’s Fair.”
“There is actually quite a lot that’s going to be lost,” he added.