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Remnant of World's Fair 1964


The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was the third major world's fair to be held in New York City.[1] Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding," dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe"; although American corporations dominated the exposition as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere. The fair ran for two six-month seasons, April 22–October 18, 1964 and April 21–October 17, 1965. Admission price for adults (13 and older) was $2.00 in 1964.The fair is best remembered as a showcase of mid-20th century American culture and technology. The nascent Space Age, with its vista of promise, was well-represented. More than 51 million people attended the fair, less than the hoped-for 70 million. It remains a touchstone for New York–area Baby Boomers, who visited the optimistic fair as children before the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, cultural changes, and increasing struggles for civil rights.
New York City was left with a much improved Flushing Meadows Park following the fair, taking possession of the park from the Fair Corporation in June 1967. It is heavily used for both walking and recreation. The paths and their names remain almost unchanged from the days of the fair.

At the center of the park stands the symbol of "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe" – the fair's Unisphere symbol, depicting our earth of "The Space Age". The Unisphere was made famous again in 1997 when it was featured in the film Men in Black. The Unisphere has become a symbol of Queens, and has appeared on the cover of the borough's phone books. The city also received a multi-million dollar Science Museum and Space Park exhibiting the rockets and vehicles used in America's early space exploration projects.
The observatory towers in 2006

Both the New York State pavilion and the US Pavilion were retained for future use. No reuse was ever found for the US Pavilion, and it became severely deteriorated and vandalized before being demolished in 1977. The New York State pavilion also found no residual use other than as TV and movie sets, such as an episode of McCloud; for The Wiz; and part of the setting (and the plot) for Men in Black. In the decades after the fair closed, it remains an abandoned and badly neglected relic, with its roof gone and the once bright floors and walls almost faded away. In 1994, the Queens Theatre took over the Circarama adjacent to the towers and continues to operate there, using the ruined state pavilion as a storage depot.

The Space Park deteriorated due to neglect, but the surviving rockets were restored and placed back on display in 2004. It is presently open again as part of the New York Hall of Science, a portion of which is a remnant of the fair. The fair's Heliport has found reuse as a banquet/catering facility called "Terrace on the Park".

In 1978, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, as it is now called, became the home of the United States Tennis Association, and the US Open tennis tournament is played there annually. The former Singer Bowl, later renamed Louis Armstrong Stadium, was the tournament's primary venue until the larger Arthur Ashe Stadium was built on the site of the former Federal Pavilion and opened in August 1997. Collectively, the complex is called the USTA National Tennis Center.
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