I may well be in a minority, but I have difficulty understanding the media hoopla about a 50th anniversary commemorating the 1964-65 World’s Fair (“A Bright Tomorrow,” April 25-May 1).
I am old enough to recall attending the ’39 and ’64 fairs, and while there were interesting exhibits in the ’64 fair, the Unisphere and several others, it was not spectacular. Even use of the word “World’s” could be questioned since many of the western European countries declined to participate.
It was a financial disaster, as was the ’39 fair. The ’39 fair returned bond holders 40 cents on the dollar, whereas the ’64 fair returned 19.2 cents on the dollar.
At the conclusion of the ’64 fair, ignoring the fact its venue had been Flushing Meadows Corona Park, a part of the city park system, it was left with a plethora of structures that did not belong in an urban park and would not have been allowed in Central, Prospect or Bronx parks and rightfully so.
As a result, politicians have over the past 50 years used them as an excuse to dump more structures and permit park misuse. Notwithstanding Flushing Meadows is the second most-used park in the city, it is the most abused, treated as real estate and not a park.
Lost in the euphoria for this celebration is the fact that to construct the fair and its use, FMCP was shut down for about five years, depriving people of its use. A proper remembrance of the ’64 fair would be to remove those alien structures and insist the city allocate funds to make FMCP the park Robert Moses promised when he took it for the fair but never delivered.
Indeed, if while walking around Meadow Lake one wanted to sit down on a bench to admire the lake, he or she could not because there are no benches, nor have there been any for 50 years.
©2014 Community News Group
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