Fort Totten Archway

As the largest borough in New York City by more than 30 square miles, Queens offers a long list of abandoned structures within a borough oscillating between industry and residency. While the development of areas such as Long Island City has prompted the city to demolish abandoned gems such as 5 Pointz, there are still plenty of places left to explore for those interested in venturing into historical buildings, rusting railways, and forgotten forts. Here are 10 abandoned places to discover in Queens.

1. The New York State Pavilion

The abandoned New York State Pavilion

Constructed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the New York State Pavilion was the single largest plaza at the event. It housed everything from open-air concerts to scenic views of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The pavilion was, for a brief period, the talk of the town. Eventually, however, the fair ended and the public’s excitement for the building faded. It soon fell into disrepair. Despite the vendors’ signed contract to tear down all buildings within 90 days of the fair’s closing, the monolith remained because it was simply “too expensive to demolish”.

Although various attempts at repairing the structure have been made, including a new “American Cheese Yellow” paint job, none have really stuck and the building has remained faded and deteriorating. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t had a life after the fair. You may remember the pavilion being a plot point in the first Men in Black movie, the location of Tony Stark’s “Stark Expo” in Iron Man 2, or from any number of films, music videos, and television shows.

Unisphere in Flushing Meadows

Tour the Remnants of the World’s Fair