From the Times Ledger:
Borough President Melinda Katz joined a activist-driven push to return the long neglected New York State Pavilion to its former glory Thursday.
“The right direction is to preserve and save this for generations to come, to make it a useful part of the park,” Katz said to a group of elected officials, community leaders and Parks Department employees at Queens Theatre in the Park, before leading them on a walk through the grounds of the site of the 1964 World’s Fair.
The Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson and is comprised of three observation towers, the largest of which is 226 feet high.
Katz led the group past the towers and into the Tent of Tomorrow, which has 16 100-foot pillars that one-time supported a 50,000-square-foot roof. That area is now closed off to the public.
Parks Department officials recently released estimates of $14 million to demolish the Pavilion and more than $52 million to preserve it.
Katz said $14 million should not be used to tear the Pavilion down and if anything could be used as a base in the preservation initiative.
“I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I or any or the elected officials know exactly what we want to do here. I think the one thing we want this to be is a collaborative effort through all of the community groups,” Katz said. “It’s not going to happen in a day, but if we don’t start the process, it’s never going to happen,”
The borough president said her office will soon start to hold monthly task force meetings for the project.
From the Queens Chronicle:
With the Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers, the two rusting icons of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, behind her, Borough President Melinda Katz officially called for the preservation of the structures on Thursday, just months before the 50th anniversary of the global gathering the pavilion was built for.
Joined by Assembly members Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) and Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing), Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie, Parks Department representatives, various community board leaders from across the borough and the three-man People for the Pavilion preservation group, Katz emphatically declared her wish to see the pavilion saved while on a walking tour of the site.
“My hope in being here today with everyone, and for causing some notice for this, is to try and bring these groups together and I felt like there needed to be a push in getting folks in a direction,” Katz said. “I think we all know the right direction. The right direction is to preserve [the pavilion] and save this for generations to come to make it a useful part of the park and to make sure it doesn’t fall down on people around it.”
In addition to just voicing her support for the movement, Katz also said that a task force dedicated to brainstorming ideas and uses for the site will be created within the next month.
The group will meet either once a month, “or at least quarterly,” at Borough Hall, according to Katz, and will be made up of the Borough President’s Office, community board leaders, the Parks Department, elected officials, historical groups and People for the Pavilion, although Christian Doran says his group has yet to receive a formal offer to join the task force.