Decorative fountains built more than 50 years ago for the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park are getting a new life — and new purpose — as part of a $5 million renovation next year.
The Fountain of the Fairs, part of the majestic water displays constructed for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, will be transformed into playful spray showers and mists where kids can cool off during the summer.
It will be a return to glory for the empty fountains, which Robert Moses designed to cascade from the Unisphere to the Rocket Thrower statue. The fountains were up and running after an extensive renovation in 2000, but broke within a few years and were later damaged in flooding from superstorm Sandy.
The city Department of Parks and Recreation decided to find a way to revamp them, setting up community meetings and listening sessions in 2015 and 2016 to figure out the best use of the space.
The community overwhelmingly asked for more water options, according to Janice Melnick, the administrator of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.