April marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, held in Queens’ Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. At the time, the landmark event offered nearly 51 million visitors a glimpse into the future of technology — in some cases a rather accurate one at that (Skype, anyone?), although there were misses, too (moon colonies).
Today, the decaying site — which features two prominent, futuristic towers and a pavilion (shown above; you may have seen them in a popular Will Smith movie, too) designed by architect Philip Johnson as part of the larger New York State Pavilion — has been closed off to the public and sparked some debate about whether the structures are eyesores in need of demolition or significant landmarks deserving protected status. Both options come with costs that range from $14 million to almost $52 million.
In an effort to preserve the historic character of the site, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has deemed the pavilion a “National Treasure,” securing it a place on a short list of only 40 other such sites nationwide.
Image: Courtesy This Hidden City.