|Flushing Meadows–Corona Park|
Location within New York City
|Location||Queens, New York, United States|
|Area||897 acres (363 ha)|
|Operated by||NYC Parks|
|Status||Open all year|
|Public transit access|| Subway : |
LIRR : Port Washington Branch to Mets–Willets Point
Bus : Q48, Q58, Q64, Q88
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, often referred to as Flushing Meadows Park, or simply Flushing Meadows, is a public park in the northern part of Queens, New York City. It is bounded by I-678 (Van Wyck Expressway) on the east, Grand Central Parkway on the west, Flushing Bay on the north, and Union Turnpike on the south. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is the fourth-largest public park in New York City, with a total area of 897 acres (363 ha).
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City, coterminous with Queens County. It is the largest borough geographically and is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island. To its east is Nassau County. Queens also shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. The borough of Queens is the second largest in population, with an estimated 2,358,582 residents in 2017, approximately 48 percent of them foreign-born. Queens County also is the second most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, behind Brooklyn, which is coterminous with Kings County. Queens is the fourth most densely populated county among New York City's boroughs, as well as in the United States. If each of New York City's boroughs were an independent city, Queens would be the nation's fourth most populous, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The Grand Central Parkway (GCP) is a 14.61-mile long parkway that stretches from the Triborough Bridge in New York City to Nassau County on Long Island. At the Queens–Nassau border, it becomes the Northern State Parkway, which runs across the northern part of Long Island through Nassau County and into Suffolk County, where it ends in Hauppauge. The westernmost stretch also carries a short stretch of Interstate 278 (I-278). The parkway runs through Queens and passes the Cross Island Parkway, Long Island Expressway, LaGuardia Airport and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The parkway is designated New York State Route 907M (NY 907M), an unsigned reference route. Despite its name, the Grand Central Parkway was not named after Grand Central Terminal.
The site of the park was once geologically part of the Hudson River. Starting in the first decade of the 20th century, it was used as a dumping ground for ashes, since at the time, the land was so far away from the developed parts of New York City as to be considered almost worthless. New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses first conceived the idea of developing a large park in Flushing Meadow in the 1920s as part of a system of parks across eastern Queens. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was created as the site of the 1939 New York World's Fair and also hosted the 1964 New York World's Fair. Following the 1964 fair, the park fell into disrepair, although some improvements have taken place since the 1990s and 2000s.
The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and Jersey City. It eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York at its southern end. Further north, it marks local boundaries between several New York counties. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson Fjord, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson's flow from as far north as the city of Troy.
Robert Moses was an American public official who worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area. Known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban development in the United States. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite his not having trained in those professions. Moses would call himself a "coordinator" and was referred to in the media as a "master builder".
The 1939–40 New York World's Fair, which covered the 1,216 acres (492 ha) of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, was the second most expensive American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. It was the first exposition to be based on the future, with an opening slogan of "Dawn of a New Day", and it allowed all visitors to take a look at "the world of tomorrow". According to the official pamphlet:
The eyes of the Fair are on the future—not in the sense of peering toward the unknown nor attempting to foretell the events of tomorrow and the shape of things to come, but in the sense of presenting a new and clearer view of today in preparation for tomorrow; a view of the forces and ideas that prevail as well as the machines.
To its visitors the Fair will say: "Here are the materials, ideas, and forces at work in our world. These are the tools with which the World of Tomorrow must be made. They are all interesting and much effort has been expended to lay them before you in an interesting way. Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future.
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park retains much of the layout from the 1939 World's Fair. Its attractions include the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the current venue for the US Open tennis tournament; Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team; the New York Hall of Science; the Queens Museum of Art; the Queens Theatre in the Park; the Queens Zoo; the Unisphere; and the New York State Pavilion. It formerly contained Shea Stadium, demolished in 2009. The Flushing River runs through the park, and two large lakes called Meadow and Willow Lakes take up much of the park's area south of the Long Island Expressway.
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is a stadium complex within Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City, United States. It has been the home of the US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament, played every year in August and September, since 1978 and is operated by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The facility has 22 courts inside its 46.5 acres and 11 in the adjoining park. The complex's three stadiums are among the largest tennis stadiums in the world; Arthur Ashe Stadium tops the global list with a listed capacity of 23,200. All 33 courts have used the DecoTurf cushioned acrylic surface since the facility was built in 1978.
The United States Open Tennis Championships is a hard court tennis tournament. The tournament is the modern version of one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, the U.S. National Championship, for which men's singles and men's doubles were first played in 1881.
Citi Field is a baseball park located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in New York City. Completed in 2009, it is the home field of the New York Mets of the National League division of Major League Baseball. The stadium was built as a replacement for the adjacent Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 next to the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is owned and maintained by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, also known as NYC Parks. Private, non-profit groups such as the Flushing Meadows–Corona Park Conservancy and the Alliance for Flushing Meadows–Corona Park provide additional funds, services, and support. The park is at the eastern edge of the area encompassed by Queens Community Board 4.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, also called the Parks Department or NYC Parks, is the department of the government of New York City responsible for maintaining the city's parks system, preserving and maintaining the ecological diversity of the city's natural areas, and furnishing recreational opportunities for city's residents and visitors.
The Queens Community Board 4 is a local government in the New York City borough of Queens, encompassing the neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Corona, Corona Heights, Newtown, and also includes LeFrak City, Queens Center Mall and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It is delimited by Roosevelt Avenue to the north, the New York Connecting Railroad to the west, the Horace Harding Expressway to the south and Flushing Meadows Corona Park on the east.
The park is named after the nearby neighborhoods of Flushing and Corona, which are separated by the park. The name "Flushing" is a corruption of the port town of Vlissingen in the Netherlands. By the 19th century, the word "flushing" had become associated with "a cleansing by rushing water"."Corona" was added to the name in 1964.
Flushing is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. While much of the neighborhood is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street in Queens, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City.
Corona is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered by Flushing and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to the east, Jackson Heights to the west, Forest Hills and Rego Park to the south, Elmhurst to the southwest, and East Elmhurst to the north. Corona's main thoroughfares include Corona Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, Northern Boulevard, Junction Boulevard, and 108th Street.
Vlissingen is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It is also known as the birthplace of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
During at least three glacial periods, including the Wisconsin glaciation around 20,000 years ago, ice sheets advanced south across North America carving moraines, valleys, and hills. In particular, bays and estuaries were formed along the north shore of Long Island. During glaciation, what is now Flushing Meadows Park was formed just north of the terminal moraine that runs across Long Island, which consisted of sand, gravel, clay and boulders.The moraine created a drainage divide, with rivers north of the moraine such as the future Flushing River emptying into the north shore. The Flushing Meadows site became a glacial lake, and then a salt marsh after the ice melted. Prior to glaciation, the Flushing River valley was used by the Hudson River to drain southward into the Atlantic Ocean. Through the 19th century, the site continued to consist of wetlands straddling Flushing River. Species inhabiting the site included waterfowl and fiddler crab, with fish using water pools for spawning.
A glacial period is an interval of time within an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances. Interglacials, on the other hand, are periods of warmer climate between glacial periods. The last glacial period ended about 15,000 years ago. The Holocene epoch is the current interglacial. A time with no glaciers on Earth is considered a greenhouse climate state.
The Wisconsin Glacial Episode, also called the Wisconsin glaciation, was the most recent glacial period of the North American ice sheet complex. This advance included the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which nucleated in the northern North American Cordillera; the Innuitian ice sheet, which extended across the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; the Greenland ice sheet; and the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered the high latitudes of central and eastern North America. This advance was synchronous with global glaciation during the last glacial period, including the North American alpine glacier advance, known as the Pinedale glaciation. The Wisconsin glaciation extended from approximately 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, between the Sangamonian Stage and the current interglacial, the Holocene. The maximum ice extent occurred approximately 25,000–21,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum, also known as the Late Wisconsin in North America.
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
The area was first settled by Algonquian Native Americans of Long Island (referred to erroneously as "Mantinecocks").They consisted of the "Canarsee" and "Rockaway" Lenape groups, which inhabited coastal wetlands across Queens and Brooklyn. Beginning in 1640, Dutch settlers moved into the area, establishing the town of Newtown to the west of the site (which would become Elmhurst, Corona, and other areas in western Queens), and the town of Flushing to the east. The meadows became known as the Corona Meadows. By 1666, the Native American population had been displaced from the Flushing Meadows site by European settlers, although a deed reserved the right to hunt on the land for the Native Americans. Several wealthy landowners began building farmhouses on the site in the mid-to-late 17th century. The meadows provided numerous natural resources for settlers, including timber, water, fertile soil, and grass and hay for grazing domestic animals. During the American Revolution, a farmhouse on the site of the modern World's Fair Marina was used as a headquarters for British forces.
By the 1800s, primitive roads were established crossing the meadows, running along what are now Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway.Several railroads were also laid through the site, including lines of the Flushing and North Side Railroad (today's LIRR Port Washington Branch and the defunct Whitestone Branch). Shortly after the American Civil War, the meadows became a waterfront resort due to its natural beauty, and affluent New Yorkers constructed homes in the area. British saloon-keeper Harry Hill built the Flushing Bay Hotel and Pavilion on the future marina site.
Around 1907, contractor Michael Degnon, whose firm constructed the Williamsburg Bridge, the Cape Cod Canal, and the Steinway subway tunnel (used by today's 7 and <7> trains), purchased large tracts of marsh near Flushing Creek. At the time, the land was considered "all but worthless". Degnon envisioned using the site to create a large industrial port around Flushing Bay, similar to a terminal he developed in Long Island City. By 1911, Degnon had created a plan along with the United States Department of War and the Queens Topographical Bureau. The plan envisioned widening Flushing River and creating docks for ships, with numerous factories and freight facilities. Meanwhile, the residential areas of Corona were expected to become the primary residence for factory workers.
To create the port, beginning in 1910 Degnon proceeded to fill the land using household coal refuse ashes and street sweepings from Brooklyn. Degnon set up two companies of his own, one of which was contracted with the New York City Department of Sanitation. He also contracted the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company, owned by a member of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine. Residential ash was collected via trolleys of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, and loaded onto freight trains which traveled via the Long Island Rail Road branches, or other trolleys, which hauled the refuse to Corona. 1,500-foot (460 m) pipe across Northern Boulevard, before being deposited onto the wetlands. The filling for the north meadow was complete in 1916.The operation was referred to as a citywide refuse "conveyor belt", while the trains were nicknamed the "Talcum Powder Express" because they often ran uncovered and deposited soot onto the surroundings. The northern end of the site was filled via now-conventional means, using dirt pumped from Flushing Bay which was being dredged to a lower depth. Material from the bay was extracted by an offshore hydraulic machine, and funneled through a
The prospect of creating a port was halted in 1917 by material restrictions caused by World War I, and a lack of federal support for the project. Industrial activities in the borough were fulfilled by existing terminals in Long Island City, Maspeth, Flushing, and College Point. 90 feet (27 m) high and was called "Mount Corona". Other mounds rose 40–50 feet (12–15 m) high. The average thickness of the ash was 30 feet (9.1 m).Dumping of ash into the meadows continued, however, fueled by the increased use of garbage incinerators in the city. The area became known as the Corona Dump or Corona Ash Dumps. During nearly 30 years of filling, around 50 million cubic yards of ash and waste were dumped onto the meadows site. One particular mound of ash rose
The dumps drew the ire of local residents, due to strong odors and being deemed unsightly, along with increasing rat infestations in the local neighborhoods.Much of the "street sweepings" collected consisted of horse manure from horse-drawn carriages. In addition, many residents simply threw out normal garbage along with the coal ashes. The meadows were also considered one of the worst breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the city. The dump was famously characterized as "a valley of ashes" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby . Fitzgerald meanwhile described the Flushing River, now polluted from the dumps, as "a small foul river". The dumps and garbage trains were accused of facilitating a polio outbreak in Corona in 1916. The Brooklyn Ash Removal Company was brought to court by local residents in 1923 for "violation of the sanitary code" due to the smoke emitted from the dumps. As a minor concession, the company opened the Corona Park Golf and Country Club in 1931, on a tract near Nassau Boulevard (today's Long Island Expressway).
New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses first conceived the idea of developing a large park in Flushing Meadow in the 1920s.At the time, he envisioned the site to become a "true 'Central Park'", especially with much of city population moving to Queens and Long Island due to urban sprawl. Moses also planned Flushing Meadows to be the westernmost of a chain of parks running across Queens, which would include Kissena Park, Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park, and Douglaston Park. In 1929, representatives from surrounding communities created a plan to turn the ash dump into a recreational complex, and presented them to Queens Borough President George U. Harvey.
In 1930, Moses released plans for numerous parks and highways in the city. This included the Grand Central Parkway, the construction of which would require taking land from the ash dumps. One of the provisional projects listed was a Flushing River Park, along with a "Flushing River Parkway". 300 acres (120 ha) of the 1,000-acre (400 ha) site, north of what is now the Long Island Expressway. The remainder of the meadows still contained natural wildlife. It was frequented by fur trappers, local residents collecting firewood and growing vegetables, and later, squatters during the Great Depression. Areas of the dumps were also used for growing vegetables, with the soil fertilized by the garbage and manure.The Brooklyn Ash Removal Company's contract with the city expired in 1933, and the city took over the company's assets and operations on May 25, 1934. The Brooklyn Ash property occupied around
In 1935, the site, now planned as "Flushing Meadow Park", was selected for what would become the 1939 World's Fair. 100-foot (30 m) Douglas fir timbers were driven into the ground to act as pilings for the foundations of the fair structures. The pedestrian plan called for numerous wide tree-lined pathways, including a central "Cascade Mall" leading to the Trylon and Perisphere, many of which would be retained for the park.In addition to the ash dumps and undeveloped meadows, houses in Corona east of 111th Street, adjacent to the dumps, were condemned and added to the site, displacing residents. The plans were drafted by Parks Department landscape architect Gilmore David Clarke and his partner Michael Rapuano, designed in Beaux-Arts style. Work on the World's Fair site began on June 16, 1936. The project primarily involved leveling the ash mounds, with the leftover material used to fill other areas of the meadow. Two sites were excavated to create Meadow and Willow Lake, while much of the Flushing River was diverted into underground culverts. A floodgate was built to prevent tidal flow from flooding the lakes. In addition to recreation, the lakes would serve as repositories for excess storm runoff. The dirt from the lake sites was used as additional topsoil for the park. The project was an around-the-clock job, with 450 workers operating on three daily shifts. Workers had to combat the effects of high tide, and dust storms created by the ash. The work significantly changed the topography of the meadows, differing from that created by glaciation. Thousands of trees were transplanted to the fair site in order to create a natural landscape. Meanwhile, thousands of
Faced with having to dispose of the mountains of ashes, Moses incorporated a significant portion of the refuse into the bases of several roadways that bordered or bisected the park.This included the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678) running along the eastern side of the park, the nearby Interboro Parkway (now Jackie Robinson Parkway), and the Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) that divides the park into north and south halves. The Grand Central Parkway separates a western lobe from the main part of the northern half, while the east-west Jewel Avenue bisects the southern half. The success of the Flushing Meadows site as a garbage dump-turned-park led Moses and the city to develop other wetlands in the city into parks via short-term refuse landfilling. This process was used to create Marine Park and Spring Creek Park in Brooklyn, and Ferry Point Park in the Bronx. This was also the original plan for the Fresh Kills and Edgemere landfills, which remained open past their expected tenure and became large and long-term municipal waste sites. The Fresh Kills site is currently being developed into Freshkills Park.
In November 1939, a water main running through Flushing Meadows Park to supply water to Flushing failed. Unlike the fair buildings, the pipeline was not built on piling foundations and eventually sank into the marsh and landfill. In January 1940, Borough President Harvey demanded an investigation into the main's construction take place, while the Board of Estimate allocated $50,200 for repairs.Following the closure of the Fair in 1940, the site was supposed to be cleared in order to develop and open Flushing Meadows as a city park. The onset of World War II, however, delayed the project. The profits from the World's Fair were supposed to pay for the development of the park, but in spite of its success the fair turned a financial loss. Only two permanent attractions were opened in 1941: an ice skating rink and roller rink in the New York City Building, and a public pool located in the New York State Marine Amphitheatre (now demolished). The latter utilized the pool used for Billy Rose's Aquacade during the fair.
In the meantime, some of the buildings from the 1939 Fair were used for the first temporary headquarters of the United Nations beginning in 1946. The former New York City Building was used for the UN General Assembly during this time.Moses attempted to sell Flushing Meadows as a permanent headquarters for the UN, which would have required new structures and a complete redesign of the fair ground layout. The proposal was rejected however, due to concerns over the strength of the former marshland for building construction, the lack of "scenic beauty" in the meadows, and the distance from Manhattan. The UN moved to their now-permanent headquarters in 1951. The New York City building was later refurbished for the 1964/1965 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 one of two buildings that survive from the 1939/40 Fair, and the only one that remains in its original location. (The other is the Belgium exhibition building, disassembled and moved to the campus of Virginia Union University in 1941. ) It is now the home of the Queens Museum of Art, which still houses, and occasionally updates, the Panorama. The remainder of the park, meanwhile, had fallen into disrepair, with wild animals moving back into the area. Only minor upgrades to the park occurred during this time.
The Flushing Meadows site was selected in 1959 for the 1964 World's Fair.Gilmore D. Clarke and Michael Rapuano were retained to tailor the original 1939 park layout for the new fair. Three structures were retained from the 1939 Fair. Meanwhile, several new structures and attractions were created including the Unisphere, Shea Stadium, the New York Hall of Science, and Queens Botanical Garden; the latter three were intended as permanent attractions for the future park. The Unisphere, built as the theme symbol for the 1964/1965 World's Fair, has since become the main sculptural feature of the park. It stands on the site occupied by the Perisphere during the earlier Fair. The Van Wyck Expressway was extended north through the park site along the right-of-way of the former World's Fair Railroad. Moses and the Parks Department also prepared post-fair plans to finish Flushing Meadows Park, as well as Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park, projected to be complete by 1967.
In early 1964, the New York City Council added "Corona" to the park's name; the park was now named "Flushing Meadows–Corona Park", in preparation for that year's World's Fair. Councilman Edward Sadowsky explained that this was intended to correct an injustice: "The people of Corona have long lived in the aroma of a junkyard or a dump named for their community. Now, when there is something beautiful to be seen, there is no mention of the name Corona."Following the fair, most of the remaining $11.6 million from the fair funds, as well as money from Moses' Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, were used to rehabilitate the site into a true park. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was transferred from the World's Fair Corporation back to the Parks Department, and opened on June 3, 1967.
Although the park was opened, it had yet to become the grand park Moses had originally envisioned.In August 1967, new parks commissioner August Heckscher II sought to begin improvements on the park in order to turn it into the "Central Park of the 20th century." A new plan for the park had been designed by architects Marcel Breuer and Kenzō Tange, but the project did not receive funds due to communication issues with the New York City Comptroller's office. By 1972, little development had taken place to improve the park, while many World's Fair structures remained in disrepair. The disrepair was systematic within the park system, a product of lack of funding during that decade's fiscal crisis. This state of disrepair continued into the 1980s.
In 1978, the US Open tennis tournament was moved from the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tournament was originally held in the Singer Bowl stadium (renamed the Louis Armstrong Stadium), a 1964 World's Fair structure which was renovated and expanded for the tournament. Other parts of the park were also repaired or expanded for the tournament, including the fountains of the Unisphere.
Since the early 1990s, the New York State Pavilion's ledges, steps, and fountain grates have been utilized by skateboarders and featured in famous east coast skateboarding videos.In 2010 a skate plaza was built nearby to host the Maloof Money Cup, a skateboarding competition. The skate park was designed by professional skateboarders Chris Cole, Geoff Rowley and Steve Rodriguez, and constructed by California Skateparks. It was built on the site of the Astral Fountain from the 1964 World's Fair.
By the early 2000s, the park had become the residence of a number of homeless people.This fact received attention after five possibly homeless individuals abducted, raped, and threatened to kill a woman who had been sitting with her partner at the nearby Mets–Willets Point subway station.
Several improvements were made to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the 2000s and 2010s. The Flushing Meadows–Corona Park Conservancy was formed in 2002 to advocate for parkland in the area. 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2). This was followed by the opening of Citi Field, a new baseball field to replace Shea Stadium, in 2009. Another public-private partnership, the Alliance for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was created in 2015. It commenced construction on, or announced plans for, several improvement projects at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. These included a plan to restore the New York State Pavilion, as well as the construction of a "mist garden" in the park's Fountains of the Fairs. Other projects included the construction of a promenade around Meadow Lake and the rehabilitation of the World's Fair Playground and the marina.The $66.3 million Flushing Meadows Natatorium, encompassing an Olympic-sized public indoor pool and an NHL regulation-sized skating rink, opened in 2008. The facility is the largest recreation complex in any New York City park, at
In 2015, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park also started hosting the Queens Night Market, a summertime food market that features cuisine from dozens of countries. The market became popular due to its affordability, since all food cost a maximum of $5-$6.Another food festival, the World's Fare, started in 2017 and is hosted in Citi Field's parking lot on about the third weekend of May.
|Attractions and Geographical Features of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park|
Attractions and geographical features of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park:
Flushing Meadows Carousel
Flushing Meadows Natatorium
Flushing River and Creek
Mets–Willets Point (LIRR and subway stations)
National Tennis Center
New York Hall of Science
New York State Pavilion, Queens Theatre and Queens Zoo
Queens Botanical Garden
World's Fair station (demolished)
The layout of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park retains much of Gilmore D. Clarke and Michael Rapuano's Beaux-Arts planning from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. 2,500 feet (760 m), was provisionally called the "Cascade Mall" during its construction, and later named the "Constitution Mall" during the first fair. Many former exhibit and pavilion sites have since been replaced with soccer fields (artificial turf or dirt and grass), while others have been left as open grass fields.The northern section of the park, the former fair grounds, revolves around large paved pathways which during the fairs led to focal points such as pavilions, fountains and sculptures. The Trylon and Perisphere, and later Unisphere, were placed at the main axial point. The Unisphere and Queens Museum currently sit at the west end of the main promenade. Near the center of the promenade (called Herbert Hoover Promenade on the north side, and Dwight D. Eisenhower Promenade on the south side) are the Fountains of the Fairs, which sit in the median of the paths. At the far east end is the Fountain of the Planets, originally called the Pool of Industry. This layout was used to guide fair goers to exhibits. The layout was based on Gian Lorenzo Bernini's plan for St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. The main promenade, measuring
The southern portion of the park is largely occupied by Meadow and Willow Lake.The two lakes, along with the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets in the former fair grounds, are fed by the Flushing River, which flows north through both lakes and underneath the fountain as a subterranean river towards Flushing Bay. The two lakes are connected by a narrow channel, forming a peninsula in between the lakes. During the 1939 Fair, Meadow Lake was temporarily named "Fountain Lake" and "Liberty Lake". The land around Meadow Lake contains much of the park's true "parkland", with open grass, picnic and grilling areas, and baseball and cricket fields. During the fairs, the land on the north shore and part of the eastern shore of the lake was used as an amusement area, with large parking lots added on the east and west shores for the 1964 Fair. The lots were removed and converted to parkland after the 1964 Fair. The Willow Lake area of the park is a nature reserve, and is not regularly open to the public. The area around Willow Lake originally also contained sports fields and park trails, until it was fenced off and turned into a preserve in 1976.
The park is entirely circumscribed by highways constructed by Robert Moses. Its eastern boundary is formed by the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678). The south and west ends of the park are bound by the Grand Central Parkway, with the Kew Gardens Interchange situated at the southernmost point. The northern edge of the park is bound by the expressway portion of Northern Boulevard (New York State Route 25A) which connects the Grand Central and the Whitestone Expressway. The park is bisected by the Long Island Expressway, at the approximate south end of the former Corona Ash Dumps, which separate the northern and southern halves of the park. Jewel Avenue and its interchange with the Grand Central further separate the southern section into two halves, with Meadow Lake to the north of Jewel Avenue and Willow Lake to the south.Access to the park is limited due to a lack of public transportation reaching many areas of the site, and presence of the highways at the perimeters of the park separating the site from local neighborhoods. The park also has very few formal entrances from local neighborhoods; this is a vestige of the World's Fairs, where access was controlled.
Studies by various groups have separated the park into a different number of sections. A study by the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation divides the park into three areas: the "historic core" (former World's Fair grounds), Meadow Lake, and Willow Lake.The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Strategic Framework Plan divides the park into a total of seven "zones": the Marina along Flushing Bay (containing the World's Fair Marina), the "Sport Center" (containing Citi Field and the USTA), "West Park" (a small section extending west of the Grand Central Parkway and the fair grounds, housing the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Zoo), the "Recreation & Garden Botanical Area" (extending east of the fair grounds along the Kissena Creek corridor, housing the Queens Botanical Garden), the "Historic World's Fair Core Area", Meadow Lake, and Willow Lake.
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is the fourth-largest public park in New York City. It was long believed to be 1,255 acres (508 ha) in size, but a survey concluded in 2013 found its actual size to be 897 acres (363 ha) when accounting for major roads and other exclusions within the park's perimeter. This does not take into account a disputed claim, which entails that the neighborhood of Willets Point, at the north edge of the park, is part of the park.
Currently, the two lakes and the remainder of Flushing Creek are separated by a flood gate or dam called the "Porpoise Bridge" or "Tide Gate Bridge", located just south of the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch trestle, at the north end of the Flushing Meadows Golf Center. The dam only permits northward flows towards Flushing Bay to pass, while blocking south-flowing waters. 37 feet (11 m) wide and 370 feet (110 m) long. The lakes are fed by groundwater.As its name implies, the dam also acts as a bridge, carrying pedestrian and vehicular traffic over the creek. It measures
Prior to human development, Flushing Meadows was originally a tidal marsh, with Flushing Creek receiving south-flowing waters from the tides of Flushing Bay. Although the lakes were built as freshwater lakes and dammed to mitigate tidal effects, flooding continues to affect the park.The lakes are also highly eutrophic, due to nutrients such as phosphorus from the former marshland seeping into the water, leading to the death of fish in the lakes. The regular tidal action that would filter the lakes is prevented by the dam. In addition, the lakes are subject to pollution and storm runoff from the nearby highways, via pipes which feed into the lakes.
Because of its connection with Flushing Bay, several fish species native to marine habitats regularly swim into and inhabit Meadow and Willow Lakes.Fish species native to Meadow Lake include American eel, largemouth bass, northern snakehead (an invasive species), and white mullet. Willow Lake is named for the many species of Willow plants which inhabit the area. Invasive phragmites, a genus of wild grasses, are also abundant. Attempts to kill the phragmites with pesticides have led to further fish kill. Numerous berry-producing trees and shrubs near Willow Lake attract several migratory bird species. The biodiversity of the lakes has been found to be much lower than other water bodies of comparable size.
Near the northern end of the park, adjacent to Willets Point is the "Sport Center" zone, where the US Open tennis tournament is held.In 2006, the tennis center was named USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after professional tennis player Billie Jean King. Its center court is Arthur Ashe Stadium, and its secondary stadium court is Louis Armstrong Stadium. Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets since 2009, sits at the far north end of the park. Shea Stadium, the Mets' previous home and prior host to the New York Jets football team, once stood adjacent to the area now hosting Citi Field.
In addition to the existing stadiums, several other sports venues have been proposed for the park. In the 1950s, Flushing Meadows was one of several proposed sites for the relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers, until the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.A racing circuit to host a Formula One grand prix event was proposed for New York City, with one of the potential circuits to be built around Meadow Lake, first for the 1975 season, and later for the 1983 season. The plans were opposed by the local community and environmental groups, and the race was postponed and ultimately cancelled by 1985. One of the alternate sites, the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, would host the Meadowlands Grand Prix Champ Car event in 1984. Also in the 1980s, the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL) proposed to relocate to the park, with a new stadium to be built in Willets Point adjacent to Shea Stadium. The plans dissolved when the USFL folded in 1985. Shortly afterwards, the New York Jets rejected a plan to take over the proposed stadium. In the 2010s, a Major League Soccer stadium was proposed in the park after MLS founded New York City FC, the New York area's second soccer team. After examining several sites in the New York area, New York City FC finally decided on building its proposed 25,000-seat stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park by 2016, deeming the park as the only viable location for a stadium. The stadium, which would have been located on the site of the Pool of Industry/Fountain of the Planets, was heavily opposed by the community, which forced the team to change its plans and play at Yankee Stadium for an unspecified amount of time.
Rental boats are available for rowing and paddleboating on the park's Meadow Lake. Meadow Lake is the site of rowing activities for non-profit Row New York, with teams practicing on the lake for much of the year. 14.5-foot (4.4 m) sloop-rigged sailboats, used for teaching, racing, and recreation by the club's members. Bicycling paths extend around Meadow Lake and connect to the Brooklyn–Queens Greenway. Paths around Willow Lake, the smaller and higher of the two lakes, are currently closed to the public. The many recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the wide ethnic mix of Queens; soccer and cricket are especially popular.Meadow Lake also hosts the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York, and teams from New York practice in Meadow Lake during the summer months. The American Small Craft Association (TASCA) also houses a fleet of over a dozen
Some World's Fair buildings continued to be in use after the 1964 Fair. The Flushing Meadows Carousel, opened as part of the 1964 Fair, operates in the northwestern part of the park.The New York Hall of Science, founded during the 1964 World's Fair, was one of the country's first science museums and still operates in its original location at the park's northern corner. The New York State Pavilion, constructed as the state's exhibit hall for the same 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, although it was repainted yellow in 2015. Next to the New York State Pavilion is the Queens Theatre in the Park, originally the 1964 Fair's "Theaterama" attraction, which moved into its current building in 1993. Terrace on the Park, a banquet and catering facility, was originally the 1964 World's Fair's official helipad. The Queens Museum, housed in the former headquarters of the United Nations General Assembly, was adapted as the 1964 Fair's New York City Pavilion building. After the fair, it was subdivided into the Queens Center for Art and an ice-skating rink, the latter of which was removed when the museum was expanded in 2013.
Other buildings remained for a while after the 1964 Fair's conclusion to see if a new use for them could be found, but were subsequently demolished. This included the Travel and Transportation Pavilion, destroyed in 1967 after a failed conversion to a fire station, and the Federal Pavilion, demolished in 1977 after great deterioration.One such parcel became the site of the Playground for All Children, one of the first playgrounds designed to include handicapped-accessible activities. The design competition for the playground was won by architect Hisham N. Ashkouri; the facility was completed in 1984, and it was refurbished and reopened in 1997.
This park also contains three Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) maintenance facilities: the Jamaica subway yard, the Corona subway yard, and the Casey Stengel Bus Depot. The Jamaica Yard is located at the very south end of the park site, beyond Willow Lake, while the Corona Yard and Casey Stengel Depot are located across from Citi Field.
The New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road both serve the park's northern end. The IRT Flushing Line subway station at Mets–Willets Point serves the 7 and <7> trains, and the similarly named LIRR station serves the Port Washington Branch. These stations are located at the northern end of the park adjacent to the Corona Yard and bus depot, primarily serving Citi Field and the USTA. The 111th Street subway station is located just outside the park grounds, serving the Hall of Science. The Q48 , Q58 , Q64 and Q88 buses all travel through the park, but only the Q48 stops within the park perimeter, serving Citi Field and the USTA. The Q58 and Q88 stop outside either side of the park and cross the park via the Horace Harding Expressway, while the Q64 crosses the park along Jewel Avenue/69th Road.
The "Valley of Ashes" described in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby (1925) is a fictional location said to have been inspired by the site of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park when it was still a dump, as well as by nearby Willets Point.
In the movie Men in Black (1997), the saucer-shaped restaurants atop the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion were portrayed as real alien UFOs used as a display to disguise its appearance to the public. Edgar the bug attempts to use one to escape the planet, but not before being shot down by the agents, when it then attempts to climb aboard the second ship but is stopped by Jay, who tricks it into coming back down.Scenes for the film Men in Black 3 (2012) were also filmed at Flushing Meadows. That film features a scene that recreates Shea Stadium, demolished in 2009, during the 1969 World Series.
In 2001, during the first season of The Amazing Race , the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park served as the finish line. In 2014, it served as a stop on the first leg of season 25.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the Stark Expo - first featured in Iron Man 2 (2010) - takes place at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park and appears in multiple movies in the series, including Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and briefly in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
In early 2018, musician Paul Simon announced that he would perform his last-ever live concert at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park on September 22, 2018. Simon had grown up near the neighborhood and had visited the park frequently.
The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was a world's fair that held over 140 pavilions, 110 restaurants, for 80 nations, 24 US states, and over 45 corporations to build exhibits or attractions at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City. The immense fair covered 646 acres (261 ha) on half the park, with numerous pools or fountains, and an amusement park with rides near the lake. However, the fair did not receive official sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).
The Unisphere is a spherical stainless steel representation of the Earth, located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City. The sphere, which measures 140 feet (43 m) high and 120 feet (37 m) in diameter, was commissioned as part of the 1964 New York World's Fair. The Unisphere is one of the borough's most iconic and enduring symbols.
Mets–Willets Point is an express station on the IRT Flushing Line of the New York City Subway. It is served by the 7 train at all times and by the <7> train rush hours in the peak direction or towards Manhattan following most New York Mets baseball games and U.S. Open tennis matches. This station is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Willets Point, Queens, on Roosevelt Avenue between 114th and 126th Streets.
The IND World's Fair Line, officially the World's Fair Railroad, was a temporary branch of the Independent Subway System (IND) serving the 1939 New York World's Fair in Queens, New York City. It split from the IND Queens Boulevard Line at an existing flying junction east of Forest Hills–71st Avenue station, ran through the Jamaica Yard and then ran northeast and north through Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, roughly along the current path of the Van Wyck Expressway. The line continued along a wooden trestle to the World's Fair Railroad Station, located slightly south of Horace Harding Boulevard. The World's Fair station, the only one on the line, consisted of two tracks and three platforms.
Willets Point, also known locally as the Iron Triangle, is an industrial neighborhood within Corona, in the New York City borough of Queens. Located east of Citi Field near the Flushing River, it is known for its automobile shops and junkyards, and had a population of 10 people in 2011.
Queens Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located at 43-50 Main Street in the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, New York City. The 39-acre (16 ha) site features rose, bee, herb, wedding, and perennial gardens; an arboretum; an art gallery; and a LEED-certified Visitor & Administration Building. Queens Botanical Garden is located on property owned by the City of New York, and is funded from several public and private sources. It is operated by Queens Botanical Garden Society, Inc.
Mets–Willets Point is a limited-use station on the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City.
Kissena Park is a 235-acre (95 ha) park located in the neighborhood of Flushing in the New York City borough of Queens. It is located along Kissena Creek which formerly flowed into the Flushing River. It is bordered on the west by Kissena Boulevard; on the north by Rose, Oak, Underhill, and Lithonia Avenues; on the east by Fresh Meadow Lane; and on the south by Booth Memorial Avenue. The park contains the city's only remaining velodrome, a lake of the same name, two war memorials, and various playgrounds and sports fields.
The Flushing River, more properly and historically known as Flushing Creek, is a waterway that flows through the northern part of central Queens in New York City and empties into the East River. The river runs through a valley that may have been a larger riverbed before the last Ice Age. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it divided the towns of Flushing on its right bank and Newtown on its left; today, it divides Queens into western and eastern halves.
Rocket Thrower is a 1963 bronze sculpture by American sculptor Donald De Lue. Created for the 1964 New York World's Fair, it is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, New York City, New York. De Lue was among a total of five sculptors who would create pieces for the fairground. He was contracted in 1962 for the amount of $105,000 with a deadline for completion of under six months. De Lue completed a full plaster model in 1963 at which time it was sent to Italy to be cast.
Pomonok Country Club was a country club in the northeastern United States, located in the Pomonok neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. The golf course was located between Kissena Boulevard and 164th Street, just to the south of Horace Harding Boulevard and to the east of Queens College.
The New York State Pavilion is a historic world's fair pavilion at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Flushing, Queens, New York. The New York State Pavilion was designed in 1962 for the 1964 New York World's Fair by architects Philip Johnson and Richard Foster, with structural engineer Lev Zetlin.
Queens Theatre, formerly Queens Theatre in the Park and before that Queens Playhouse is an American professional theatre, located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City, New York. Artistic and Executive Directors have included Joseph S. Kutrzeba, founder and producer; Robert Moss, Sue Lawless, Jeffrey Rosenstock and Ray Cullom, formerly Managing Director of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, and currently, Taryn Sacramone, former Executive Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center.
The Flushing Meadows Corona Park Natatorium and Ice Rink, also known as the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool and Rink or Flushing Meadows Natatorium, is a 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) facility in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York City, with an Olympic-sized pool and an NHL-standard rink. Built in 2008, the $66.3 million project is the first indoor public pool to open in New York City in four decades. Initially, the building was intended to serve as the venue for water polo events during the 2012 Summer Olympics, but when the city's bid was lost to London, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation proceeded to build the pool anyway. The result is an innovative building with 130-foot-high twin masts and a swooping roof form. The masts are an architectural feature extending up into the Queens skyline as well as the structural supports for the cable-stayed roof. This design provides the clear spans necessary to house an Olympic swimming pool along with an ice skating rink.
The New York City FC Stadium is a proposed soccer-specific stadium to be built in New York City for New York City FC of Major League Soccer. The team currently plays its home games at Yankee Stadium.
Kissena Creek, also known historically as Mill Creek or Ireland Mill Creek, is a buried stream located in the neighborhood of Flushing in the New York City borough of Queens. Most of it flows beneath Kissena Park, Kissena Corridor Park, Queens Botanical Garden, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, where it merges with Flushing Creek. It originated in the neighborhood of Hillcrest in eastern Queens and traveled mostly north and west.
AirTrain LaGuardia is a proposed 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) people mover system and elevated railway in New York City, United States, that would provide service to LaGuardia Airport in Queens. It would connect with the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in Willets Point, similar to how the existing AirTrain JFK system connects with the subway and LIRR in southern Queens.
The Q58 and Q58 Limited are bus routes that constitute a public transit line operating primarily in Queens, New York City, United States, with its southern terminal on the border with Brooklyn. The Q58 is operated by the MTA New York City Transit Authority. Its precursor was a streetcar line that began operation in November 1899. and was known variously as the Flushing–Ridgewood Line, the Corona Avenue Line, and the Fresh Pond Road Line. The route became a bus line in 1949.
The announcement made this week that the contractors who have filled in the Flushing meadows intend to develop the water front ...
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Entities within the park: