Condition of Pavilion just prior to 2014 UCF scanning project
The Highest Point at the Fair
The New York State Pavilion remains one of only a handful of architectural links to the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair. Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, the Pavilion consisted of three distinct components –Astro-View Towers, Tent of Tomorrow, and the Theaterama. As the host state to this 646 acres international celebration of the future, the New York State Pavilion was designed to be seen by visitors throughout the expansive Fairgrounds. The Astro-View Towers’ Sky-Streak elevators whisked Fairgoers 226 feet above the Fair where they could wave to family members below, wonder at the Manhattan skyline and even catch a glimpse of Connecticut.
Sixteen continuously poured concrete columns rose to a height of 100 feet to support the roof of the Tent of Tomorrow. At the time of the Fair, the colorful ceiling of the Tent of Tomorrow was the world’s largest cable suspension roof. Over 2,000 tons of steel were utilized between the roof’s 48 cables, compression and tension rings. Costing in excess of $1 million, the terrazzo floor of the Tent of Tomorrow featured a carefully detailed 9,000 square foot road map of New York State. It was within these impressive confines that the State of New York showcased many of its natural and cultural wonders to visitors. The final structural component of Pavilion was Theaterama with an 80-foot diameter – 20-foot high screen that displayed the 14-minute film A-Round New York. Six Mitchell Mark II cameras with anamorphic lenses provided viewers an encompassing 360° introduction to the State of New York. Works of pop art by noted artists would grace the exterior walls of the Theaterama. It is here where Andy Warhol’s controversial 13 Most Wanted Men briefly appeared prior to their removal at the request of Governor Nelson Rockefeller and objection of fair organizer Robert Moses.
Neglect Takes its Toll
Following the close of the Fair in October 1965, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park underwent a redevelopment from its configuration as the site for the Fair to one of New York City’s largest urban oases. Several structures from the Fair would remain in hope of future reuse, among them the New York State Pavilion, Federal Pavilion, New York City Pavilion, Hall of Science, Port Authority Heliport, Singer Bowl, and Unisphere. The New York City Pavilion would become the Queens Center for Art & Culture (Queens Museum today) and the Hall of Science continue as a science center (New York Hall of Science today), but what can become of a structure that is not fully enclosed and would expose patrons to New York winters? For several years the Texaco New York State map terrazzo floor served as a roller skating rink. However, the colorful fiberglass Tent of Tomorrow roofing panels falling onto the immediate environs, the led to the financially strapped City of New York removing the panels rather than repair and replacement. With the terrazzo floor now open to the elements and failing to attract a permanent tenant, the New York State Pavilion fell victim to extensive vandalism and would be abandoned in place.
Just prior to its demolition in January 2015, the ChronoPoints team conducted a laser scan of the Glass Bank exterior for digital preservation. We then utilized the highly accurate laser scan point cloud data to assist in the development of a 3D model of the structure’s exterior as it appeared in 1963. Historic images, documents, and oral histories enabled our team to model the interior of the First Federal Saving & Loan lobby and the Ramon’s Rainbow Room dining area.
These models were then placed in the Unity engine that enables users to explore the Glass Bank on their computer. A preliminary 360 virtual reality immersion experience was developed for the HTC Vive that returns you to the 1963 Glass Bank.
Receiving two MicroSoft HoloLens units during Microsoft’s first HoloLens Academic Research Award competition, we enabled users to explore the Glass Bank through Augmented Reality.
We developed a 3D physical representation of the Glass Bank with a partnering lab. PD3D, at IST. The model was printed on the XXX printer.