In its two seasons the World's
Fair chalked up an attendance of nearly 52,000,000 but right
now the former fair grounds in Flushing Meadow Park are deserted
except for workmen and bulldozers tearing down unwanted buildings
originally erected for the fair. The grounds, which the World's
Fair Corporation will return to the city as a restored park on
Dec. 31, are not open to the public. The city will keep some
8 structures for the park, which may also have a zoo for small
|[Webmaster's note... The
photo shown above, that accompanied this story, appeared in the
Sunday News on June 26, 1966 -- over eight months after
the close of the Fair. Most of the Fair has been demolished and
the site is already looking like a park again. The Fair came
down quickly, considering the contractual agreement with the
Fair Corporation called for removal of pavilions within 90 days
of the close of the Fair. The Fair Corporation asked for an initial
extention of their deadline for occupancy of the Park until December
31, 1966 and asked for a second extention until December 31,
1967. In the end, the Park was returned to the city on June 3,
1967. What is interesting to note in this picture are the pavilions
that remain -- prominent among them are the Transportation and
Travel Pavilion (domed structure in the middle-left of the picture)
and the Bourbon Street (Louisiana) Pavilion (just below New York
State's "Tent of Tomorrow" structure). They were two
of the exhibitors the Fair Corporation had to finance in order
to keep them open during the 1965 season. I would guess that,
if the picture was expanded, one might see many more pavilions
that had not been demolished, such as Pavilion of American Interiors
and the Hall of Education -- two other financial catastrophes
of the Fair. It appears that the Fair Corporation was the last
to remove the structures they were ultimately responsible to
Only Bulldozers Play At
Fair Grounds Now
By CHARLES WALLING and MARY O'FLAHERTY
Where the World's Fair glittered and roared
and happy crowds thronged a year ago, practically all is desolation
today as demolition of unwanted buildings move ahead.
On a recent Sunday, a few boys taking potshots
at pidgeons with rifles in the turnstyle area beneath the Van
Wyck Expressway extension were the principal "visitors."
In the once glamorous pool area where fireworks were displayed
nightly, the only sign of life was an occasional gull.
The city wants the massive $12 million Federal
Pavilion and is in negotiations about it with the federal govenrment.
What eventually will happen to the New York
State Building is still uncertain. The Parks department has not
yet decided whether it wants it or not. The state, a parks official
explained, has offered to give the city $750,000 ear-marked for
demolition, but Parks Department could use the money instead,
to improve the building for permanent use.
The future of the heliport building is another
unknown. This housed the Top of the Fair restaurant, now closed.
Parks Commissioner Thomas P. F. Hoving has indicated he thinks
the structure could be converted into a theater-restaurant that
could be a tourist attraction for the city. He's still looking
for a concessionaire.
If his plans fail to materialize, then Hoving
would like to see the building torn down. But demolition would
cost from $350,000 to $400,000, which presents another problem.