New York State Pavilion redesign contest winners revealed

The votes are in and the best idea for the future of one of Queens’ iconic structures is more green than cheese.

People for the Pavilion, the nonprofit group that’s trying to preserve and restore the New York State Pavilion, in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, announced the winners of its design competition Thursday.

Over 250 ideas were submitted to the contest, which ranged from a complete restoration of the 226-foot-high steel structure’s original look from the 1964-1965 World’s Fair to a cheeseburger museum where each of the Pavilion’s towers were replaced with buns.

Ultimately, a more practical plan won: “Hanging Meadows,” which proposed a large-scale, enclosed garden that’s located on top of the “Tent of Tomorrow.”

Although the garden is far from becoming a reality, Salmaan Khan, co-founder of People for the Pavilion, said it has sparked a new interest in reinvigorating the structure from people around the world

“These winning submissions represent just a few of the infinite possible futures of the New York State Pavilion,” he said in a statement.

Second place went to “Civic Hub,” which re-imagined the Pavilion as a multiuse public space, and third place went to “Pavilion for the Community,” which featured a market, solar glass roof and a greenspace. The winning fan favorite submission, “Tent of the Future,” also had a solar glass roof and art installations.

All three winners, who were judged by a panel of design, cultural and architectural experts, were awarded cash prizes, and all of the entrants’ proposals will be on display at an exhibit at the Queens Museum from Friday to Aug. 28.

The city closed the Pavilion to the public in 1974 and it has been deteriorating for decades, despite its iconic place in the park.

Recently, efforts to restore the structure from preservationists, elected officials and Queens residents have been fruitful, including a $13 million allocation from the office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“We thank everyone for participating in this fun, interactive campaign, part of the overall efforts to restore this national treasure into a visible icon befitting the ‘World’s Borough’ for generations of families and visitors to enjoy,” Katz said in a statement.