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Queens Chronicle

FMCP projects win design awards

City recognizes plans for New York State Pavilion and ‘mist garden’

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Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2018 10:30 am

A pair of upcoming projects for Flushing Meadows Corona Park were among the winners of the city’s 36th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design.

Mayor de Blasio and city officials announced the 11 winners last Wednesday. The two for the World’s Fair monuments — also the only ones for Queens — are the revamping of the New York State Pavilion Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow, as well as the “mist garden” planned for the empty reflecting pool at the Fountain of the Fairs.

The pavilion project has a $14.25 million price tag. The firms L’Observatoire International and Jan Hird Pokorny Associates worked with the Parks Department on the design for it.

According to the city, the revamp seeks to restore lighting to the site and bring maintenance access and stabilization to “lay the foundation for future preservation and potential adaptive reuse of these iconic structures.”

Mayor de Blasio provided $6.45 million for the project, Borough President Melinda Katz secured $6.45 million for it and the remaining $800,000 came from the City Council.

Katz, who for years has advocated for the pavilion and fought for it to get illuminated, is happy with the revamp design being honored.

“The recognition will augment our efforts to fully restore this national treasure into a visible icon befitting ‘The World’s Borough’ for generations of families and visitors to enjoy,” the borough president said in a prepared statement.

According to the city, work for the award-winning pavilion restoration will last about a year and a half. It’ll be a little while before the construction process kicks off, though.

“The project is in procurement,” Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor told the Chronicle. “It will need to be re-bid, after the first two bids received were unsuccessful. Pending successful bids, we anticipate completing procurement in early 2019.”

According to Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy President Jean Silva, hearing that the pavilion project was a winner was nothing short of good news.

“People are going to be very excited about this ... Everyone is excited,” she said.

For Salmaan Khan of the People for the Pavilion group, the project getting the design honor is “phenomenal.”

“Give credit where credit is due and Melinda Katz should be given credit, she was galvanizing people and getting money allocated to the structure for a few years,” he said.

The city is also in the procurement process for the $5.23 million mist garden, though Lalor said it should be wrapped up by the autumn. When the initiative is finished, the empty reflecting pool will have fog-generating jets in the ground that create a cool cloud that will go between three and five feet up in the air.

According to the Parks Department, the mist garden will also have new lights and seating, as well as a paving pattern designed in the art deco style. New plants and trees are also planned.

The mist garden is one piece of a larger master plan that includes revamping the Fountain of the Fairs’ plaza, large fountain and center pool. Funding has not yet been dedicated for those parts of the master plan.

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