After decades of neglect at the New York State Pavilion, the city wants the 1964 World's Fair icon added to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in rehab grants.
The move follows months of activity at the long-decaying structure, where workers lowered broken, loose elevators in July and are now patching concrete on the three towers and the columns of the Tent of Tomorrow rotunda.
City seeks grant money to fix World's Fair landmark New York State Pavilion
"It's really an exciting time for the pavilion," said John Krawchuk, the city Parks Department's historic preservation director. "We're very positive about its future."
Preservationists praised the city's quest for state and federal funds, which may help pay for efforts to stabilize the pavilion and save a terrazzo map of New York State on the rotunda floor.
The state Historic Preservation Office - which approves sites for the register - called the pavilion a "nationally significant resource" in a 2003 letter to the city, and is "interested" in listing it, spokesman Dan Keefe said.
But Queens civic leader Greg Godfrey wondered why the Parks Department didn't push for city landmark status, which would bar major alterations and demolition at the pavilion.
"It doesn't make much sense," said Godfrey, president of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park World's Fair Association.
Krawchuk responded that city landmarking is "always a possibility," but takes much more time and effort than applying for the national register.
That's complete and utter bullshit by Mr. Krawchuk. Submitting a request for evaluation to LPC takes about 5 minutes. Completing a national register application can take weeks.