1964 World’s Fair Grounds Decay

Post Author: , Rebecca Smeyne

Photographer Rebecca Smeyne ventured into prohibited territory in Flushing, Queens to document the ongoing decay of what once stood as a beacon of modernity and progress in an era convinced of its imminent nuclear demise. Depicted here are the remaining vestiges of a fair that suffered chronic under-attendance after the Harlem Riots and white flight stirred tourist fears of New York, and an inability to compete with corporate-run amusement parks with freer, less idealistic fare. The Pavilion of New York and the Unisphere are familiar relics to anyone whose driven the Van Wyck expressway, but the expansive fair grounds that used to surround these aging centerpieces are largely forgotten.