Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flushing Meadows Park
Flushing Meadows Park, also sometimes referred to as Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, is located in northern Queens, New York City at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway . It is the largest park in the City of New York and was created as the site of the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair and also hosted the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair.
Some of the buildings from the 1939 Fair were used for the first temporary headquarters of the United Nations from 1946 until it moved to its permanent headquarters in Manhattan in 1951. The former New York State building was used as the UN's General Assembly during this time. This building was later refurbished for the 1964 Fair as the New York City Pavilion, featuring the Panorama of the City of New York, an enormous scale model of the entire city. It is currently the only surviving building from the 1939 fair, and the home of the Queens Museum of Art, which still houses, and occasionally updates, the Panorama.
The Unisphere, built as the theme symbol for the 1964/1965 World's Fair, is the main sculptural feature of the park. It stands on the same site occupied by the Perisphere during the 1939/1940 World's Fair.
The US Open Tennis Championship takes place in Flushing Meadows Park at the USTA National Tennis Center ; its center court is Arthur Ashe Stadium and its secondary stadium court is Louis Armstrong Stadium. Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, sits at the north end of the park.
Rental boats are available for rowing on the park's two lakes, Meadow and Willow, which feed into the Flushing River and thence into Long Island Sound. Bicycling paths extend around the lakes. The many recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the vast ethnic mix of Queens; soccer and cricket are especially popular.
The park is also the home of Queens Theater in the Park, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum of Art, "Terrace on the Park" (a banquet and catering facility, the Fair's former helipad), and an indoor ice skating rink.
The New York State Pavilion, constructed as the state's exhibit hall for the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair, is also a feature of the park. However, no new use for the building was found after the Fair and the structure sits derelict and decaying, a stark contrast to the well-maintained park. The futuristic towers of the New York State Pavilion were featured as a key plot element in the 1997 movie Men In Black. The other buildings left for a while after the Fair's conclusion to see if a new usage for them could be found, such as the United States Pavilion, have subsequently been demolished.
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