Catsimatidis seeks “visionary” New York State Pavilion plan

Billionaire ex-mayoral candidate wants another expo on the site by 2018

From left: John Catsimatidis and the New York State Pavilion
From left: John Catsimatidis and the New York State Pavilion

Red Apple Group chairman and former New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis is willing to shell out some cash for the right project to overhaul the dilapidated New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Catsimatidis announced his willingness to help fund the right “visionary” project for the site at a Friday celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair and 75th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair, both of which were held at the site.

“I’ve certainly been there ready and able to write a check,” Catsimatidis told the New York Daily News. “I can make it happen. But you need people who have dreams.”

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Catsimatidis, who told the News that the 1964 fair had a profound effect on him as a teen, hoped to see another fair in Queens in time for the 50th anniversary, and hasn’t given up on plans for another exposition in the near future. He told the Daily News that he wants to discuss such plans with Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, and perhaps pull off another event by 2018 or 2020.

Designed by Philip Johnson in 1964 and located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Pavilion consists of the Tent of Tomorrow and three 100-foot-tall observation towers. Left to rust over the last 50 years, debate over whether to repair or scrap the landmark has swirled in recent years.

Demolition would cost $14 million and restoration would run more than $70 million, according to past reports. [NYDN]Julie Strickland