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Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, NY


Where Gumbo Was #367

Congratulations to George G for recognizing that Gumbo was visiting New York City’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, In particular the New York State Pavilion and Unisphere from the 1964 World’s Fair that was held there.

NYS texacoTexaco sponsored the NYS Pavilion

During the 1920’s, New York City was looking to expand its number of public parks. Robert Moses was the city’s Parks Commissioner, a position he would use to reshape much of the city. He wanted to give the Borough of Queens a large park, in the manner of Manhattan’s Central Park.

nys pillars

Flushing Meadows Park sits in what was once a part of New York’s Hudson River, back before the glaciers of the ice age changed the region’s geology. By the early 1900s, the valley through the terminal moraine that makes up Long Island’s north shore had become a dumping site for ash, “street sweepings” (horse manure) and garbage. Needless to say, as the city’s population expanded out into eastern Queens, people became less enamored with the dump's presence. So, when Moses proposed the park, there was a lot of support.

In 1935, while Flushing Meadows was under construction, it was chosen as the site for the 1939-40 World’s Fair. In 1964, Flushing Meadow was again hosting a World’s Fair. Several of the pavilions were built with the idea that they would become permanent features of the park. These included the refurbished New York City Pavilion, the New York Hall of Science, and this week’s destination, the Unisphere and the New York State pavilion.

uni trees

The Unisphere was built as the visual theme for the fair. It is 140 feet tall and 120 feet wide. It was built to represent the theme of global interdependence and dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Planet in an Expanding Universe.”

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The New York State Pavilion was built as multi-use space. It comprised three separate parts, the “Tent of Tomorrow,” the observation platforms, and the “Theaterama”. The Tent of Tomorrow was a half-acre open space, surrounded by sixtteen 100-foot tall cement towers that supported a multi-panel fiberglass roof. The floor of the pavilion was a terrazzo depiction of a Texaco road map of New York State. Attached were three observation towers (226 ft, 160 ft, and 85 ft tall). The towers were reached by two exterior elevators. Theaterama was a cylindrical cement walled performance space.

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Over the years, especially during the financial crisis of the 1970’s, the park, and these structures fell into disrepair. The observation towers were closed for safety reasons, and the roof tiles were removed for the same reason. This led to damage of the terrazzo floor. Theaterama was renovated and today it is the Queens Theater, a vibrant performance space for concerts and theater. The Unisphere has been repaired along with its fountains, and there is an active renovation of Tent of Tomorrow going on that is expected to be finished by 2021.

NYS full viewsphere and towrs

Tomorrow there will be a new Where In the World is TravelGumbo puzzle to solve. Good luck!


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  • NYS texaco
  • nys towers through roof
  • sphere and towrs
  • uni and NYS
  • uni ashe background
  • Uni silhouette
  • uni trees
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  • witw 367 sat 1
  • witw 367 sat 2
  • witw 367 sun 1
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