Friday, June 22, 2007

Tent of Tomorrow: 40 years of neglect

Attached are some photos taken in the Parks Department library,
dealing with their neglect of the Tent of Tomorrow:
Local architect Louis R. Colalillo proposed a Queens Center for the Performing Arts for the Tent in 1989. The Parks Department chose to ignore his proposal. In a Manhattan-centric city, the Parks Department assumed that it would not attract enough people. They assumed that Queens residents do not attend concerts.
This is a 1979 Daily News editorial on the decaying state of the mosaic map, only 14 yesars after the World's Fair ended. The Parks Department appeared to be acting like an ostrich, ignoring the alarm being sent by New York's most widely read newspaper.
Fast forward to November 2006, where NY Times' Dave Barry laments the ongoing decay of the Tent.
Left is an image of the Philip Johnson landmark fulfilling its purpose, with a mosaic floor of New York.
Left is a Queens Chronicle photo of the Aybar proposal for an aviation museum inside the tent, proposed in 2000. Once again, the Parks Department has chosen to ignore the proposal, allowing the Tent to deteriorate further.

Info from mazeartist



Anonymous said...

I was present at the CB#7 meeting during which the architect Louis Colalillo presented his somewhat grandiose plans for rehabilitating the NYS Pavilion into an opera theater venue which was supposed to attract the likes of Lucianno Pavoratti and compete with the famous Metropolitan Opera!

I believe it included nothing about preserving the terrazzo mosaic map (the audience seating would have had to be placed on top of that map..... with a rake in the flooring....thus covering it from view or permanently buried under cement and thus destroyed) !

His partner in the presentation was with the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

This was a move , at the time, by the Boro Hall folks (Claire Shulman and Peter Magnanni in particular) etc. to divert attention from the demands of the Flushing community to convert the historic RKO Keith's theater into a world class performing arts center (in other words....nothing but a smoke screen boondoggle)!

Anonymous said...

this is such an embarrasment
but what in Queens isn't ?

Anonymous said...

They will never do anything but let the NYS Pavilion continue to rot until it has to be demolished.

Anonymous said...

If that unofficial landmark is lost (Tent of Tomorrow & NYS Pavilion), it will forever scar the landscape of Queens.

How could these monuments to one of the most important events in history, the "World's Fair," be neglected as if it never existed?

Shame on the Parks Dept for waiting this long!!!!! I'll believe them when I see work actually underway for its rehabilitation and sensible restoration! Give Queens what it deserves, maintain existing infrastructure first, and stop lounging!

I conclude by stating, "Don't make an icon of the future, something of the past in a landfill!!!"

verdi said...

Parks Dept. couldn't care less.....we lost the 1939-40 World's Fair icon .....Trylon & Perisphere didn't we ? !!!!!

All of you "Parkies"'re guilty of demolition by neglect !!!!!!