Graffiti headache at State Pavilion

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Posted · Report post

Mike is okay guys- he's been here a long time, and was merely expressing the apparent psychology of the vandals.

One other thing that has occured to me-

this place was built as a very public place. And the public is still attracted to it, to this day. Yet there are locks and fences. To vandals, that is an attractive challenge. I have a hunch that if all the fences and gates were removed and it was open to the public to stroll though, with bright lights 24/7 and security cameras (even those 'fake' cameras), the vandalism might not disappear but it might be greatly reduced. On the other hand, INCREASE the locks, fences, etc., and it becomes an even bigger challenge.

One other thought. The skate park was built ostensibly to get the kids out of the Unisphere fountains and other places where they were doing damage, and may or may not have been successful in doing so.

What if they build a big wall in some other part of the park, and advertise it as public art space- but bring your own spray paint cans. Paint anywhere else in the park and you're going to jail. (and advertise a couple of examples with perp walks). Oh yeah... the "sentence" for violations could be public service on the NYSP painting team. :) not that you guys would want to have anything to do with them.... :)

I know, some of this has to do with preservationists versus public access- the goal to keep something hidden until it (might) be repaired in the future, versus opening it to the public right now and risking damage. It's always a dilemma. Of course the Parks Department will always side with the insurance lawyers.

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Posted · Report post

Indeed, Johnny and Eddie, I was being completely sarcastic.
I was channeling the mindset of these people.
And I dislike them intensely!

Mike Kraus

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Posted · Report post

If anyone is a champion of the NYSP's survival, it is Mike!!

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There are a great many supporters of the NYSP's survival, the efforts of the paint crew, in particular, are a statement of pride, and an expression of passion about the preservation of the structure. It is why we bristle at the thought of its defacement. Painting the walls is a task that is within the grasp of enthusiasts to execute, for a reasonable amount of money. However, wholly preserving it would be a massively expensive undertaking, considering the extent to which the NYSP has been permitted to deteriorate.

The condition is what would prevent Parks from opening the pavilion up to the public. At best, it is deteriorating, at worst, it is hazardous. If someone were to be injured inside, Parks would be liable. It is an excellent point that locks make it more of a challenge and therefore more appealing to vandals, but the building is crumbling, we find new debris upon every entry. There are also many rooms where vagrants can hide and/or live, and some of these rooms are filled with props and equipment for the adjacent theater. The NYSP has to be secured, and Parks must figure out how. We, of course, are willing to help in any way that we can as volunteers.

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If a theater worker going into the crumbling mezzanine rooms to retrieve equipment or props, gets hit and injured by falling debris, is the Parks Department liable? Or does Parks require the theater to carry insurance against such hazards? Just wondered... and whether the Theater is paying rent to use that space.

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Mitch, I hope you are correct. A question: I know a good deal of effort has been put into painting the structure and it must be a remarkable labor love. However, what are the most recent reports on the structural integrity of the building? It is now fifty years old and other than coats of paint, it has been neglected for decades. How much has the structure declined? If there was a moment to push for restoration this would be it and it might be the last viable opportunity to do so. Timing is everything and the pavilion is fifty years old (it was nearing completion by the end of 1963).

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I don't think its our business to know what agreement the theater has with Parks Dept. or NYC. There is some sort of agreement and has been for years. There are props, sets and equipment in the pavilion that date back to the 1970's. It is likely that any theater worker is covered under the theaters insurance if they are conducting theater business. More than half the pavilion interior space are all theater storage, practice rooms and a functioning workshop.

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Jim, I don't have the reports on hand about the structure's integrity. However, the reports over the years have been consistent in saying structurally the columns, crown and cables are sound, not in danger of collapse. The wood pilings under the columns are down to 50% a few years ago which is enough to sustain them until they can be stabilized, there is a strong possibility there are steel pilings too. The mezzanine structure we are painting will be demolished when and if they find purpose for the building. The footing have sunk in places and most may not be salvageable. Towers are sound with steel pilings. Cosmetically its a mess and the infrastructure trashed.

Anyone have copies of the recent reports?

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Thanks, Mitch. I am not surprised. Finding a purpose for the structure would be wonderful but after almost fifty years of neglect, I don't see any salvation for the pavilion. It was left standing with no purpose and it has declined into a ruin and other than Fair enthiusiasts it does not appear to have a noteworthy group of supporters-- either private citizens or public officials. It took San Francisco fifty years to decide to permanently preserve the Palace of Fine Arts although that structure already had avid supporters and a spectacular location.

I suspect one day we will wake up to a news story that a ssignificant portion of the structure has collapsed and that will be that.

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Let me first give my apology to Mike, I guess with all the hard work we put into the Pavillion I didn't see what he was really saying. I do have the latest report on the study of the Pavillion and Mitch is correct, the structure is in sound condition but there are pieces of concrete falling off the columns. It would be unsafe for the public to walk around, and the outer rooms are a complete disaster. We have found a mattress in one where a homeless person was sleeping ( remnants of the Fereal Pavillion) but with all that said we will be there this spring and start our scraping and painting of the interior walls and mezzanine band. I met with the new commissioner today and she gave full support to our cause. We also talked about ideas for the Fairs 50th anniversary. Will post to keep everyone up to date....Johnny

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I think the fact that the NYSP is an unused, abandoned and neglected structure is what invites vandalism to the site. On many occassions I've seen people wandering around inside the Tent of Tomorrow fairly easily. If the NYSP was in Manhattan or Brooklyn, it would never have deteriorated to the condition it currently is in. I think that what's lacking in getting something accomplished with preserving and restoring the NYSP is not having a centralized group where enthusiasts of the fair or architecture, preservationists, and the community can gather toghether, get information and contribute what they can to not only preserve and restore the NYSP, but to turn it into what it was intended to be - a functioning public space. I've mentioned here and elsewhere that a good example of this is what was done to the New York High Line. With some vision, imagination and organization, the Friends of the Highline group was able to accomplish what at one time was considered the impossible. (see http://www.thehighline.org/about/friends-of-the-high-line). Is there anyone here who would be interested in doing something similar for the NYSP? How can we get this going?

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I have never understood why the theatre has never embraced the pavilion restoration

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