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New York Worlds Fair New York State Pavilion

New York, United States of America
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1964-1965 New York World's Fair New York State Pavilion is a historic world's fair pavilion at Flushing Meadows - Corona Park in Flushing, Queens, New York.The New York State Pavilion was designed and built between 1962 and 1964. It was designed by the modernist architect Philip Johnson. It consists of three components of reinforced concrete and steel construction: the "Tent of Tomorrow," "Observation Towers", and "Theaterama".

"Tent of Tomorrow"

The "Tent of Tomorrow" is elliptical and its reinforced concrete piers once supported the largest cable suspension roof in the world. The main floor of the tent was a large scale design of a Texaco highway map of New York State. An idea floated after the fair to use the floor for the World Trade Center didn't materialize. Once the red ceiling tiles were removed from the pavilion in the late 1970s, the floor was subject to the elements of weather and was ruined.

"Observation Towers"

The "Observation Towers" are three concrete towers, 226 feet high. The towers have observation platforms, once accessed by two "Sky Streak capsule" elevators attached to the tallest western tower. The southern tower has a platform height of 85-feet and the northern tower is at 160-feet.


"Theaterama" was originally a single drum-shaped volume of reinforced concrete. Additions to the original structure were made in 1992-1993 and in 2008-2009. The "Theaterama" is home to the Queens Theatre in the Park.The exterior of the Theaterama was designed to display art of the American avant garde and in particular the Pop Art Movement commissioned by the architect Philip Johnson.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.


Today, the New York State Pavilion is perhaps more impressive than during the World's Fair. It stands as a piece of architectural relic in an abandoned place. Johnson had a well-known passion for architectural ruins, in this aspect the construction starts to live its new life. In his foreword to "The Architecture of Philip Johnson" he writes:

The New York State Pavilion at the 1964-65 World's Fair is now a ruin. In a way, the ruin is even more haunting than the original structure. There ought to be a university course in the pleasure of ruins.

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  1. Galinsky
  2. Wikipedia
ziggurat, September 11th, 2018
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