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A Proposed Air & Space Museum for Flushing Meadows

A Final Project Update

Dramatic nighttime view of Proposed Air & Space Museum at the New York State Pavilion
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York

Dear Reader,

We take this opportunity to present a final report of the proposed Air and Space Museum project at the New York State Pavilion, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Borough of Queens, New York.

Thank you to the many people who gave us encouragement and support in Queens Borough government and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in our effort to stabilize and develop an adaptive reuse for the pavilion. In particular we would like to thank New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Assistant Parks Commissioner for Queens Estelle Cooper, former New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, Deputy Commissioner of Capital Projects for the New York City Parks Department Amy Freitag, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, former Queens Borough President Claire Schulman and their staffs for graciously allowing us to present our proposal and for their consideration of our project. Many hours were spent by them attending meetings, reviewing proposals, researching documents, and a vast variety of other work that needed to be done to honestly evaluate a monumental proposal of turning a derelict, decaying structure into a glittering Air & Space Museum.

Thank you to the many people who have followed our project since 2001 -- who have given us a pat on the back when it they felt it was deserved, a gentle prod when they felt it was needed and a shoulder to cry on when we needed it as well. Thank you for your interest, support, encouragement and kindness over the years. It was appreciated more than we can say.

In June of 2004, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to allow parties to submit ideas, concepts and plans for the stabilization, restoration and adaptive reuse of the New York State Pavilion. The Air & Space Museum proposal was one of only two RFEIs submitted. Six weeks after the deadline, New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced that none of the submissions had addressed funding concerns and, therefore, the RFEI was canceled. At that point, further efforts to continue with the project were halted since it seemed fruitless to continue working with a Parks Department who were obviously no longer interested in our efforts toward stabilization and reuse of the pavilion.

This final update of the project will present:

  1. A reprint of the Concept Page of the original website to preserve the original concept of the Air & Space Museum, online.
  2. A Timeline of Events dating back to 1992 when the first engineering report was commissioned by the Department of Parks & Recreation of the City of New York to determine the structural stability of the NY State Pavilion. The majority of the timeline focuses on our efforts to stabilize and restore the NY State Pavilion into a world-class Air & Space Museum.
  3. Publication of documents (in PDF format) pertinent to the project. These include the copies of the engineering reports we obtained from the Parks Department detailing the deterioration of the structure, the RFEI put out by the Parks Department and our response, among others.
  4. Parting comments about the project by key members of the team.
Perhaps, with the facts presented, those interested in this project -- or future projects regarding the NY State Pavilion -- can draw their own conclusions as to why it could not move forward.
Charles A. Aybar, PhD, Scottsdale, AZ
Frankie Campione, AIA, Principal, CREATE Architecture Planning & Design, New York, NY
July, 2006