NEW YORK STATE - Page Four

After the Fair

When the Fair closed in 1965 most of the colorful buildings were soon demolished but the New York State pavilion was given a new lease on life when it was added to the very short list of buildings to be retained. The city didn't have any plans for the structure, and it generally sat vacant at first, being used for occasional concerts. The pavilion was eventually leased out for use as a roller skating rink, and panels were placed over the Texaco map to protect it. Sadly, though, the city did little, if anything, to maintain the structure, and the rink was closed due to concerns about loose panels in the roof of the Tent of Tomorrow. The pavilion was later used for portions of the film "The Wiz", but in general it has been allowed to continue to rot away.

Happily, in 2010 a group of dedicated volunteers gained permission to paint the pavilion and do minor repairs. Following several years of hard work the pavilion is looking far better than it has in many years. You can read more about their efforts and see pictures of the progress at ww.worldsfaircommunity.org.

At first glance, the pavilion doesn't look too bad, especially from a distance. This 2002 view was taken from the former site of the General Motors pavilion. (CD #3 Set 15 #8)


 

A look inside tells a different picture. This view, also from 2002, shows how nature has taken over the once pristine Texaco map. Other views are even worse, showing old cars and broken refrigerators stored inside the former Tent of Tomorrow. The map was covered in gravel several years ago to arrest further deterioration in case there is any future hope of restoring it. (CD #13 Set 61 #23)


 

Seen here in 1998, one might think the pavilion was still in use. Sadly, the once futuristic Sky Streak elevator wasn't whisking passengers up to the observation decks, nor is it likely to do so any time soon. The elevator was parked there by Charles Aybar, who worked at the roller rink at the time, in an effort to save it from vandals. It has since been taken off the rails and is rotting away next to the towers. Charles has made many efforts over the years to try to save the pavilion from further ruin - click here for details on the project, and the sad news received from the city. (CD #7 Set 33 #44)


 

What will become of the New York State pavilion? As of this writing (2013) the city continues to say that it is exploring options to stabilize the structure and to find a new use for it. Time will tell if they follow through on the string of broken promises before the structure collapses under its own weight.


Want more information on the New York State pavilion?

10-9-62 - Groundbreaking booklet
10-9-62 - Rockefeller's Machine Is a Pile Driver
10-28-63 - Press release on roof construction
10-29-63 - Topping Off Pavilion at Fair
3-64 - They Built the Roof on the Ground
Business Screen magazine
7-31-64 - Hey Barry, She Says 'Go Left'
7-28-65 - Architects Back 'Save Pavilion' Drive NEW
8-19-65 - TBTA Comes to Rescue of State Pavilion NEW
1-5-70 - N.Y. Fair Site May Bloom Anew
7-8-74 - World Fair tarries at New York park site
3-17-96 - Preserving The Relics Of the Fairs

 

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