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A Heritage Worth Preserving

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The city Parks Department is planning major multi−mi­llion−do­llar changes in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Borough President Helen Marshall revealed plans last week that show how the park may look 10 years from now. The plans include removing some of the structures built for the 1964 World’s Fair.

We are among the first to agree that the park is in need of major work. But, like you, we have grown attached to the remnants of the World’s Fair, even if they are rusted and serve little or no functional purpose. We are pleased that, according to Marshall’s office, the Unisphere, the Queens Museum Theater in the Park and the New York State Pavilion will be preserved. Whew! Some things in this life are sacred and the Unisphere with its fountains is one of them.

For the baby boomers of Queens, the Unisphere, more than anything else, is a reminder of one of the most wonderful events ever to take place in the history of this city. The 1964 World’s Fair brought the world to Queens. Visitors marveled at pavilions that showed them how the world filled with technology might look in the distant future that is now. At a time filled with hope and fraught with danger Disney told the visitors to its pavilion that is “a small world after all.” And the Vatican pavilion gave visitors of all faiths the chance to see Michelangelo’s “Pieta.”

For our money, there has never been a better World’s Fair and never will be.

For this reason we welcome upgrades to the park that will be make it a better place for the thousands who come here each year. However we hope that the planners will carefully protect those structures that give the park its uniqueness and connect to its glorious past.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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