Monday, April 7, 2008

Envisioning tomorrow's Tent of Tomorrow

The state pavilion, designed by the architects Philip Johnson and Richard Foster and the structural engineer Lev Zetlin, had three elements: the Tent of Tomorrow, the observation towers and the Theaterama, which is now the Queens Theater in the Park. The question of what to do with the “tent,” 16 concrete columns in an ellipse, awaits an engineering report from Robert Silman Associates.

As they inspected the map the other day, Mr. Benepe and John Krawchuk, the director of historic preservation for the parks agency, began to imagine catwalks spanning swaths of the map that are damaged beyond reclaiming. Visitors could then do what they have always done: make a beeline for their hometown.


In the Tent of Tomorrow, a Faded Map of Yesteryear

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm too young to remember the World's Fair, but wasn't this pavilion used as a skating rink in the early '70s? I have a distinct memory of roller-skating on the big map.

Anonymous said...

I read about a year ago that the remains of the map had been removed to be preserved. Anyone else remember that?

john simonetti said...

I was 16 years old at the start of the World's Fair in 1964. I still have some great slides of the NYS Pavillion and the "map". I was a wonderful exhibit, and I walked on it many times. It is a disgrace that the powers that be let it go to this point. People like David Oats (RIP) spent their lives trying to keep these exhibits from deteriorating. Let's see what happens....

Anonymous said...

Preserve the map. Tear down those ugly, rusting Jedi-esque towers. Plant a few trees.

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly the towers are only in poor cosmetic condition. There are made out of cement, concrete, and reinforced in the columns and base. They would need new wiring and plumbing and mechanical equipment though. The tallest tower could be used on a seasonal basis (may through september?) and charge a fee. The second tallest tower could be rented out for space or other use if enclosed. The smallest tower could be used as a snackbar or lounge for the Queens Theatre.

As for the map, yes parts of the Long Island section are on view at the Queens Museum through May 4th. There are quite a few missing tiles on the map. Completely missing! While various parts of the map can be saved, they (whoever they may be) should really contact the towns and cities for each respective tile and see if they can raise money in their communities to have their respective tile repaired or replicated if need be, and then have all the tiles stitched together. They could have it on the floor and have a catwalk or plexiglass cover to walk over, or could have the map as a giant mural and tilted at an angle, resting on a wall.

Anonymous said...

Needles to say the map cannot go back in the tent of tomorrow. One the map is removed, if that will happen, the tent itself is really beyond repair. It is best they demolish the tent sell any materials they can for scrap, and can build a new completely enclosed multi purpose pavilion that could be used for the queens theatre, rented out for parties, concerts, what have you, anything that can charge a fee and make money. With the map hopefully saved, the towers restored, and a new pavilion, I think it would be a nice compromise...that is....if there's any money that can pay for it!

Anonymous said...

No shit, the same thing people been telling them for years. I wonder how much $$ was blown on this engineering report.

Almost all of Manhattten and Queens was removed from the map over the past 30 years.
They are just waiting to the structure to fail into emergency status to the State foots the demo bill.

ew-3 said...

can't believe that they thought a coat of polyurethane would protect from roller disco-ers. What a bunch of Maroons.

Also interesting the fixed up the are around the Hamptons first...

loyal citizen said...

Nothing is beyond repair if vision-minded architects, engineers, & a respectful Parks Dept get together. There is toooooooooo much history here to sacrifice, and another plaque would be a huge slap in the face. This is a destination of NATIONAL significance. Think of the recognition all of you would receive who committed to restoring & preserving it. It was a grand statement of modernism & still can be. Please work together to save it.

sam rohn said...

just shot an interactive panorama of the interior, good view of what's left of the map...

tent of tomorrow panorama

sam

Anonymous said...

Yup, it was a roller rink in the 70's