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The empty observation towers of the New York Pavilion hover over Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The empty observation towers of the New York Pavilion hover over Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Before it became a memory of the 90’s blockbuster Men in Black, the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Park debuted as one of many attractions of the 1964 World’s Fair. With the 50th anniversary of this wonderful piece of New York City approaching on April 22nd, the City has decided to reopened the long-shuttered Pavilion for public access. On that Tuesday, between 11am and 2pm, enter the portal of the Tent of Tomorrow for this wonderful opportunity to time travel back half a century to explore an iconic New York City structure. You’ll even get a hard hat to wear for the visit! 

The Tent of Tomorrow once held the record as the largest cable suspension roof in the world.

The Tent of Tomorrow once held the record as the largest cable suspension roof in the world.

The Tent and two “spaceship” observation decks were designed by Modernist architect Philip Johnson as part of the 1964 World’s Fair festivities. They aren’t the only remains from this event–Flushing Meadows Park in Queens is filled with artifacts from 1964’s fair. The New York State Pavilion remained (mostly) intact for several years before falling victim to architectural decay. The “Tent of Tomorrow” is currently missing its original roof and its terrazzo floor map of New York. The towers and the “Tent of Tomorrow” remain striking examples of the futurist architecture the fair embraced.  After sitting empty for decades, these structures will finally entertain guests after all these years.  In the Tent of Tomorrow, a space that once hosted live concerts and exciting demonstrations the terrazzo floor is now decrepit and deteriorated.

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According to CBS, the Parks Department released plans last fall for a $73 million restoration to the pavilion, compared to a $14 million demolition price tag. Hard hats will be required to enter the Pavilion on April 22nd.

For more information, read about the event on this site. Check out these awesome vintage photos from the 1964 World’s Fair, these other remnants from the events, and how this site was . If you attend this event, please feel free send all hard hat selfies to the author at @uptownvoice.

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