Queens Museum

The Panorama of the City of New York, the 9,335-square-foot built-to-scale model of New York City, has long served as the Queens Museum’s “jewel in the crown,” but the institution itself harbors several treasures, as well as an interesting history that goes beyond its collection. Visitors who make the trek to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to pay a visit to the museum will be treated to a plethora of relics from both World’s Fairs, exhibits covering a range of diverse subjects (with special regard for Queens residents) and a recently renovated space.

From its ties to the United Nations to its new architectural features, here are the top 10 secrets of the Queens Museum.

1. The U.N. Was Housed in the Queens Museum Building

Before the current United Nations complex was built, it had headquarters in locations all over New York City and even Long Island. These included the Hudson Hotel, Rockefeller Center, Hunter College’s Bronx Campus (now Lehman College), the Sperry Gyroscope Corporation headquarters on Long Island, and the New York City Building (now the Queens Museum).

Designed by architect Aymar Embury III for the 1939 World’s Fair, the New York Building was originally built to house the New York Pavilion, which featured displays about municipal agencies. Later, it became home to the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950, during which several defining moments took place, including the creation of UNICEF and the partitions of both Korea and Palestine. In 1964, following a renovation by architect Daniel Chait, the building was used again as the New York City Pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair. Read more about each of the U.N.’s former locations here, and discover its many secrets.