Photos posted online claim to prove that tiles from a huge state road map created for the 1964 World's Fair icon were cracked and left lying in dust and weeds after undergoing a heralded $40,000 restoration.
A spokeswoman for the city Parks Department, which cares for the pavilion, said she didn't know if restored tiles had gone back into the pavilion at some point. But she said the tiles were put into special-made crates under supervision of a historic preservation specialist and are now safe in an enclosed storage space.
Are Web pics of damage to restored New York State Pavilion map real?
Conservator John Hinchman, a University of Pennsylvania professor who managed the map project, said he wasn't sure if the tiles in the photos matched the ones he helped preserve. Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum of Art, said he hadn't seen the photos and didn't know whether to trust them. But he figured the tiles wouldn't have suffered damage from being back in the pavilion.
"What destroyed the tiles was not the weather," Finkelpearl said. "It was the plants that were growing into them and cracking them apart."
So let's see, where do we begin? This is a very OLD story at this point, and not sure why it was even published now. But at the very least, a dumb statement made by the restorer saying he can't identify pieces his group painstakingly restored demand follow up questions like, "Don't you catalogue, document and photograph your restoration work?" And when the museum director makes an asinine statement about the plants cracking the tiles rather than the weather, I suppose it would not be out of line to ask how the seeds could grow in cracks that shouldn't have been there in the first place. Not to mention that most of the damage is actually from the cement that Parks slapped on the tiles to "repair" them.
Actually, if the reporter had simply asked to see the tiles that were supposedly carefully packed into crates and stored in an enclosed storage space, the whole controversy could have been put to rest. But why do that? This is Queens.