City breaks ground on New York State Pavilion’s $24M restoration

NYC Parks and city officials put shovel to ground at the World's Fair Pavilion Towers, which will undergo a massive restoration. (Photo courtesy Daniel Avila/NYC Parks)

The facelift will include dynamic architectural lighting to the towers, officials say.

Work to repair an iconic part of the Queens skyline has begun.

New York State Pavilion’s observation towers in Flushing, Queens are undergoing a $24 million restoration project, which will include waterproofing the bases of the towers, stair replacements, electrical upgrades, conservation work and adding dynamic architectural lighting to the towers, according to the Parks Department, which announced the ground breaking on Friday.

“The work we are breaking ground on today will go a long way toward restoring the iconic New York State Pavilion to its former glory,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said. “This work will enable future generations to continue to enjoy the Pavilion’s distinctive Space Age architecture and be reminded about the important role the 1964-65 World’s Fair played in Queens history. It has been a privilege to work with our partners in government to preserve the Pavilion.”

A rendering of the how the towers will look after repairs and will new dynamic lighting. ( Photo courtesy of NYC Parks)

Restoration work is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021, but the towers will be inaccessible to public after repairs are completed since the structures will still need significant work before being able to accept visitors, according to Parks.

Constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow, which once featured a roof made of brightly colored fiberglass panels, has 16 100-foot columns. The exhibit also had three towers — the tallest of which held an observation deck. About 51 million people visited exhibits on the technology of future, Michelangelo’s Pieta, the Ford Mustang and small scale models of the first twin towers.

Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech