Philip Johnson’s 'Tent of Tomorrow' vandalized, damaged with fire

Vandals set fire to a stolen van in the park, which in turn caught the tarp covering the pavilion's 50-year old Terrazzo Map on fire.

July 25, 2014 |

The historic New York State Pavilion in Queens, designed by Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World's Fair, was broken into on the weekend of July 19. Vandals set fire to a stolen van, which in turn ignited a tarp covering the pavilion's Terrazzo Map, Inhabitat reports. Vandals also smashed some sections of the map with cinderblock, according to the report.

The 50-year old installation—a detailed 567-panel map of the state of New York—is an original part of the World's Fair grounds at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

John Piro, who co-founded the New York State Pavilion Paint Project to bring the pavilion back to its former glory, told the NY Daily News: “It was upsetting after all the work we have been doing. Why would somebody do that?”

There is still broad support for the renovation, encompassing two towers and the Tent of Tomorrow. New York City has pledged $5.8 million to the project, and volunteers are resuming their restoration work and brainstorming security measures.

The two towers of the New York State Pavilion, which are set to be restored. Photo credit: Noah Sheridan, Wikimedia Commons.
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