Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lost opportunity for Tent of Tomorrow

From the Times Ledger:

The Parks Department estimated it would cost $21.3 million to $27.8 million to restore just the Tent of Tomorrow.

This would have all been unnecessary, said Marcia Lynn, a former city Department of Environmental Protection employee, if city leaders had carried out her plan, introduced to officials in 2002, to make use of the Tent and towers while providing Queens residents with useful services.

At the time, she said, she had three experts who determined the entire Pavilion was structurally sound and had lined up a group with $20 million to $30 million in funding to restore it.

Lynn’s proposal would have saved the structures by turning the Tent into a multi-floored ice skating facility, public school and New York sports museum and transforming the tops of the towers into a sports bar and restaurant. Lynn’s daughter, now 21, was an avid hockey player and figure skater during her school years and Queens offered no place for her to play the sports she loved.

That is where Lynn’s plan would come in. The Tent would have offered ice sports and a full academic day at an off-site charter public school, she said. The structure would have retained its character but been rebuilt with a glass skin, four to five floors, two or three rinks, the museum, a skate school, shops and more. The plans would have recalled the years when the Tent was operated as a roller rink.

In about 2000, Lynn organized a coalition of experts, including the pavilion’s original structural engineer, Vincent DeSimone; the original architect, the late Phillip Johnston; and Gordon. The three performed an analysis of the towers and Tent and determined they were structurally sound.

“We had a big consortium, we had about $20 [million] to $30 million to fund it. At the time the economy was good, we weren’t at war, so we thought it would be a great program,” she said.

Lynn became ill shortly thereafter and the project was put on hold until 2002, when she said the consortium took the plans to the Parks Department.

At the time, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff was hoping to secure the 2012 Olympic Games for New York City, so he was pressing for a new skating rink with an Olympic-sized pool, plans which eventually manifested themselves as the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink.

The consortium’s plans were ignored and the city is worse off, Lynn said, as only a two-rink facility can host tourism-boosting hockey tournaments.


Sergey Kadinsky said...

Bloomy and his henchmen, Doctoroff, and now Pinsky, they don't listen to the public.

When I proposed that the 2012 Olympic Stadium is better fit for Randalls Island- for better traffic and security, the city politely brushed off my letter.

As for the NYS Pavilion, perhaps your plan could win the support of the Islanders, who could use it as a training facility.

Anyway, I expect it to get the same cold treatment from city officials as the Charles Aybar proposal for an Aerospace Museum a few years back.

City leaders are determined to let it crumble, because they know what's best for us.

Anonymous said...

Retro-fitting a new purpose in an old odd structure is the problem with the Pavilion. The pavilion was beautiful at one time and had several uses that could be incorporated today. Roller skating and theater were successfully employed in the past and perhaps a continious 4 season facility would be viable. However even if construction on a design that would be viable is built, it's location deep in the park would be daunting to any parent of children or even to adults for their safety. The Park is poorly patrolled by the Police Dept and there are vast spaces of emptyness that any visitor will need to navigate on foot, especially after dark. The Park is currently home to numerious illegals and criminal homeless that is a personal threat to anyone going to the facility.

Sergey Kadinsky said...

"Borough President Helen Marshall’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment."

That figures, she can't even restore the crumbing nude statue outside Borough Hall. What a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

Youth ice hockey tournaments would have been a wonderful thing for nyc. shame that plan fizzled out.

Anonymous said...

Youth ice hockey? You gotta be kidding.

Tear it down

Anonymous said...

Didn't just have to be youth hockey. adult, college, semi pro, NHL practice rink, etc....

Anonymous said...

$30 million? How about using that money to pay for cops and firefighters instead.

Queens Crapper said...

Sounds like someone doesn't know the difference between expense money and capital money...

Anonymous said...

I used to love skating at that roller rink. It was a good way to learn about New York State; and kept alive the history of the great '64 fair.

Anonymous said...

An ice rink would have been amazing there.

Anonymous said...

To the person that said teh Pavillion is difficult to get to..does know what they are talking about, it is just over the bridge from the Flushing Zoo, and Parking...IT IS EXTREMELY EASY TO GET TO, I take my kids there more than a handful of times during the summer months alone...and an ice skating rink would be perfect there.

The Pavillion needs to be preserved and restored to it's original glory.

The problem is Manhattan j-holes like the little fuhrer who keep all the benefit in manhattan, and continue to ignore the rest of the city for nothing more than their corrupt development deals.

Matthew said...

I am making a documentary film about the New York State Pavilion. If anyone has pictures or stories that they wish to share, contact me through my gofundme page. Im trying to get people to see this building rather than see through it. Maybe its not too late to save it.