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Queens Chronicle

The Unisphere

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:30 am

Most longtime Queens residents are proud that located right in our own borough is one of the world’s major architectural achievements, the Unisphere. Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, it is the largest globular structure ever built by man and also the largest structure fabricated entirely of stainless steel. Four hundred seventy tons went into its creation.

The Unisphere towers 12 stories high and weighs over 900,000 tons. It was donated as a permanent gift to the city of New York by U.S. Steel of Pittsburgh. The orbital rings are three-ton stainless steel held with invisible steel wires. The pedestal is made from Cor-ten steel, which is 50 percent stronger than carbon steel.

The architect of this work of art was Gilmore Clarke (1892-1982). Clarke was one of the people who got along very well with Robert Moses starting in early 1934. He expanded Riverside Park and designed the Central Park Zoo. He designed architecture for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. And he got the call from Moses in 1962 to craft the fountains, statues and Garden of Meditation for the 1964 Fair.

Clark died peacefully in his sleep aboard the ship Royal Viking Star on a cruise off the coast of Denmark in 1982.

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