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Revisiting NYC’s 1964 World’s Fair, 50 Years Later


And yet, as you walk out of the 111th Street train station, there’s something about Corona that also brings to mind an older, simpler New York. No hipsters here; no luxury condo skyscrapers. Instead, you’ll find modest brick apartment buildings and single-family homes, pizzerias and diners, barber shops and variety stores. That throwback sensibility adds a layer of nostalgia to the experience of revisiting fair sites, especially for boomers who attended the event as kids.

“I think for many people, the fair represents this last moment of true optimism,” said Melnick. “We were looking into the future, and the future was going to be bright. That really struck a chord with a lot of people.”

The fair’s best-known symbol, an elegant steel globe, has appeared in movies like “Men in Black” and “Iron Man 2.” Visitors enjoy setting up photos so that they appear to be holding the world in their hands. Located in the park, outside the Queens Museum of Art.

You can’t miss the towers topped by flying saucers, surrounded by 100-foot-high (30-meter-high) concrete pillars. This was the New York State Pavilion, where visitors rode elevators to an observation deck above an enormous suspended roof of translucent colored tiles. Today the structure is padlocked, rusted and cracked, with preservationists and critics fighting over its future.

The museum is housed in a building that dates to the 1939 World’s Fair, which marks its 75th anniversary this year. It also briefly housed the United Nations General Assembly after World War II.

Exhibits include posters from both fairs and a replica of Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” which was shown in the Vatican Pavilion during the ’64 fair.

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Posted by on May 1st, 2014 and filed under American Street Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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