Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows gets major makeover

Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows gets major makeover

Posted: Updated:
The Queens Museum of Art, housed in a building that originally was constructed as a pavilion for the 1939 World's Fair, Oct. 30, 2013. (AP photo/Ula Ilnytzky) The Queens Museum of Art, housed in a building that originally was constructed as a pavilion for the 1939 World's Fair, Oct. 30, 2013. (AP photo/Ula Ilnytzky)
A large glass fixture hangs over part of the new expansion at the Queens Museum of Art in New York, Oct. 30, 2013. The museum will open its newly expanded space to public on Nov. 9, 2013. (AP photo/Seth Wenig) A large glass fixture hangs over part of the new expansion at the Queens Museum of Art in New York, Oct. 30, 2013. The museum will open its newly expanded space to public on Nov. 9, 2013. (AP photo/Seth Wenig)

ULA ILNYTZKY | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Queens Museum of Art for decades had to work within the confines of a building that originally was constructed as a pavilion for the 1939 World's Fair.

But no longer. A nearly 3-year, $68 million expansion and renovation project has created a light-filled, airy and spacious environment that doubles its size.

The transformed museum has been rebranded the Queens Museum to reflect its mission of producing world-class exhibitions of contemporary art as well as programming and installations that examine important issues through objects of art.

It was designed by Grimshaw Architects, a British-based firm selected through the city's Design Excellence Program. It opens to the public on Nov. 9.

Visitors enter a 48-foot-tall atrium dominated by a monumental chandelier-like canopy of glass panels programmable with LED lighting. This expansive space features changing and commissioned works of art and is ringed by six galleries.

One holds the museum's crown jewel: a Robert Moses-commissioned 9,335-square-foot panorama of New York City, the world's largest full-scale architectural model.

Nine artist studios, educational classrooms, a gift shop and cafeteria also have been added.

The 105,000-square-foot museum, founded in 1972, sits in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, steps from the National Tennis Center. It has two glass-facade entrances. One faces the park and the 1964 World's Fair Unisphere. The other fronts the Grand Central Parkway in plain view of thousands of motorists.

The city-owned building now has room for another spectacular model -- a 500-square-foot, 27-piece relief map of the New York City watershed, produced for the 1939 World's Fair and shown only one other time, in 1948 for the city's Golden Anniversary Exposition.

In the 1940s, the building served as host to the U.N. General Assembly. "The People's United Nations," an inaugural performance piece by Pedro Reyes, pays homage to that. The building will convene mock assemblies with visitors acting as U.N. delegates, solving world problems using alternative resolution techniques drawn from theater, marriage counseling and psychology.

Other inaugural exhibitions include "Andy Warhol's 13 Most Wanted Men and the 1964 World's Fair."

Visitors can also take in the museum's celebrated Tiffany glass (Tiffany Studios were located in Corona, Queens) and massive World's Fair memorabilia collections.

The expansion became possible when an ice-skating rink that occupied the southern half of the building relocated elsewhere in the park.

"We were bursting at the seams," said Tom Finkelpearl, the museum's executive director. "This gave us the opportunity to have a space that reflects our mission. We say our one-word mission statement is `openness.' We now have a beautiful, wide-open, spacious central space to open up to the public."

He said officials at the museum, which is funded by the borough, city and state, hopes to double the number of visitors in the first year to 200,000.

By 2015, a new 5,500-square-foot Queens Library branch will be part of the museum, allowing the curators and librarians to continue their collaboration on education programming and books that reflect the museum's exhibitions.

http://www.queensmuseum.org

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:34:04 GMT
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
  • Arrest made in attack of mother, children

    Arrest made in attack of mother, children

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:18 AM EDT2014-08-29 10:18:52 GMT
    The NYPD arrested a suspect in the attempted sexual assault of a mother in front of her three children.  Police say they busted Pedro Vargas, 48, of Yonkers on Thursday.  Chilling surveillance video released by cops showed a  man pretending to be a livery cab driver, pulling the woman out of a car, elbowing her five-year-old child in the face and tossing her three-year-old child onto a sidewalk in Queens.
    The NYPD arrested a suspect in the attempted sexual assault of a mother in front of her three children.  Police say they busted Pedro Vargas, 48, of Yonkers on Thursday.  Chilling surveillance video released by cops showed a  man pretending to be a livery cab driver, pulling the woman out of a car, elbowing her five-year-old child in the face and tossing her three-year-old child onto a sidewalk in Queens.
  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:16:46 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices