World’s Fair Pavilion Gets “National Treasure” Status

April 23, 2014 | Andy Cush

The New York State Pavilion — that futuristic, dilapidated structure in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair — is officially a “National Treasure.” The National Trust For Historic Preservation gave the pavilion the designation this week, placing it among the ranks of the bridges of Yosemite National Park, the National Cathedral, and, uh, the Houston Astrodome.

“The Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history,” National Trust president Stephanie Meeks said, calling it an “emblem for space age enthusiasm.”

What does that mean for the pavilion, which has been unused for decades? Not much, other than that the title might help fundraising efforts to save it. The city has considered demolishing, which would cost about $14 million. Restoring the structure to the point of usability — a plan that Queens parks commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski and borough president Melinda Katz support — would cost about $43 million. According to Lewandowski, the title “will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon.” Benjamin Franklin Gates to the rescue?

(Photo: @Wally Gobetz)