HistoryIn 1939, New York City had the honour of hosting the World's Fair, even as some nations were already preparing for a massive global war. Having plenty of open and unused space, the borough of Queens was chosen to host this important cultural event. Aymar Embury II was the chief architect of the New York City Building. This structure was specifically designed for the New York City Pavillion, which was arguably one of the most famous exhibits at the fair. Shortly after World War II, the New York City Building served as the official international headquarters of the newly formed United Nations. Eventually, the rapidly growing UN relocated to a much larger space in Midtown Manhattan. In 1964, the World's Fair once again returned to Queens with much bigger and better ambitions than the previous fair. The New York City Building was used again as an exhibit space for the event. In 1972, the property was transformed into the modern-day Queens Museum of Art. Since then, this museum has established itself as one of the top cultural institutions in Queens and all of NYC. When visiting the museum, visitors can embrace many of the original installations from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs. For example, the enormous and iconic Unisphere stands just a stone's throw away from the museum. Rising more than 200 feet above ground, the Observation Towers also dominate the local scene.
CollectionPerhaps the most famous installation at the Queens Museum of Art is the Panorama of the City of New York. This architectural scale model was designed specifically for the 1964 World's Fair by Robert Moses, who was responsible for an array of major civil engineering projects in NYC during his tenure. Overall, the panorama consists of 895,000 pieces that include realistic representations of skyscrapers, bridges, parks and many other features of the Big Apple. Another significant component of the permanent collection at the Queens Museum of Art is the Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply. The core of this exhibit includes a 3-D topographic model of the city and its vast network of pipes and other features of the water supply. Of course, the Queens Museum of Art also presents plenty of material on the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs that attracted millions of visitors. The World's Fair Visual Storage and Gallery provides an in-depth overview of these massive cultural gatherings.
Visiting Queens Museum of ArtThe Queens Museum of Art is nested in the heart of the historic Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Covering nearly 900 acres, it's by far the largest and most important park in the borough of Queens. Additionally, the park is home to some of NYC's top attractions, such as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that hosts the US Open. If you'd like to reach the park by public transit, you can take the 7 Line of the NYC subway to the 111 Street or Mets-Willets Point station. Commuter trains by the Long Island Railroad also stop at the Mets-Willets Point station. Several bus routes that are operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) drop off and pick up passengers near the Queens Museum of Art. Although the museum is conveniently situated just off I-678 and I-495, parking at the park is severely limited.
Location: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY, 11368
Click here to visit Queens Museum of Art official website.
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