Construction begins on $24 million Pavilion Observation Towers project

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Construction started on a $24 million project to reconstruct portions of the New York State Pavilion Observation Towers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The project will preserve the iconic structure and add dynamic architectural lighting to enhance the Pavilion experience. Work will include waterproofing of the tower bases, stair replacement, electrical upgrades and structural conservation work on the observation towers.

The Pavilion was constructed for the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Designed by Philip Johnson, the “Tent of Tomorrow” measures 350 feet by 250 feet, with sixteen 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 sq.-ft. roof of multi-colored panels. The popular exhibit also held three towers, measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet. The two shorter towers held cafeterias for the fair, and the tallest tower, as the highest point of the fair, held an observation deck.

The Pavilion also included the adjacent “Theaterama,” which exhibited pop art works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The space was converted to the Queens Playhouse in 1972 and continued to operate until 1985.

The project is funded by a $13.1 million allocation from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, $9 million from Mayor Bill de Blasio, and $1.9 million from Council Member Francisco Moya.

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