Flushing Meadows / Corona Park – Must See Tourist Attractions in Queens
Flushing Meadows / Corona Park
Flushing Meadows / Corona Park
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, occasionally referred to as Flushing Meadows Park, is located in northern Queens, New York City, USA, roughly at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway. It is the third largest public park in the City of New York and was created as the site of the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair and also hosted the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair. It is run and operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
(5 km²) park was created from the former dumping ground characterized as “a valley of ashes” in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The site, originally known as the Corona Ash Dumps, was cleared by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, in preparation for the World’s Fair. Faced with the problem of disposing of the mountains of ashes, Moses strategically incorporated a significant portion of the refuse into the bases of the Van Wyck, Jackie Robinson, and Long Island Expressways that crisscross the park.
Some of the buildings from the 1939 Fair were used for the first temporary headquarters of the United Nations from 1946 until it moved to its permanent headquarters in Manhattan in 1951. The former New York State building was used as the UN’s General Assembly during this time. This building was later refurbished for the 1964 Fair as the New York City Pavilion, featuring the Panorama of the City of New York, an enormous scale model of the entire city. It is currently the only surviving building from the 1939 fair, and the home of the Queens Museum of Art, which still houses, and occasionally updates, the Panorama.
The Unisphere, built as the theme symbol for the 1964/1965 World’s Fair, is the main sculptural feature of the park. It stands on the same site occupied by the Perisphere during the 1939/1940 World’s Fair.
The US Open Tennis Championship takes place in Flushing Meadows Park at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center; its center court is Arthur Ashe Stadium and its secondary stadium court is Louis Armstrong Stadium. Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, sits at the north end of the park.
Rental boats are available for rowing on the park’s two lakes, Meadow and Willow, which feed into the Flushing River and thence into Long Island Sound. Bicycling paths extend around the lakes. The many recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the vast ethnic mix of Queens; soccer and cricket are especially popular.
The park is also the home of Queens Theater in the Park, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum of Art, “Terrace on the Park” (a banquet and catering facility, the Fair’s former helipad), and an indoor ice skating rink.
The New York State Pavilion, constructed as the state’s exhibit hall for the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, is also a feature of the park. However, no new use for the building was found after the Fair and the structure sits derelict and decaying, a stark contrast to the well-maintained park. The futuristic towers of the New York State Pavilion were featured as a key plot element in the 1997 movie Men in Black. The other buildings left for a while after the Fair’s conclusion to see if a new usage for them could be found, such as the United States Pavilion, have subsequently been demolished. One such parcel became the site of the Playground for All Children, one of the first playgrounds designed to incorporate normal and handicap-accessible activities, a design competition won by architect Hisham N. Ashkouri and completed in 1981. It was refurbished and reopened in 1997.
On June 24, 2005, the park hosted the Reverend Billy Graham on what he stated was his last tour in North America.
From the US Open Tennis Tournament to the Playground for All Children, you can find it in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park.
This park, site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, has the largest concentration of sports, recreational facilities and cultural institutions of any park in New York.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The easiest way to Flushing Meadows is by the #7 subway and the LIRR train.
Take the Q48 to Roosevelt Avenue at Shea Stadium, and walk south into the Park. For the Queens Zoo and NY Hall of Science, take the Q23 or Q58 to Corona and 51st Avenues and 108th st, and walk east into the Park.
Things to see in Flushing Meadows / Corona Park
World’s Fair Marina
Walk among the boats at the parkside marina.
Shea Stadium – Home of the NL Champion New York Mets Capacity: 56,521. Parking available.
123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, NY 11368
Get bikes and cruise around the park.
Pitch & Putt Golf
Just south of the Passarelle Building and the Passarelle Ramp leading to Shea Stadium is pitch ‘n putt golf. Try it!
United States Tennis Association
(US Open Tennis Tournament) Each summer the US Open wraps up the Grand Slam tourneys in professional tennis. The Tennis Center is open year round to the public – with indoor and outdoor courts available at reasonable rates. The center also offers adult league play and programs for juniors and seniors.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, New York 11368
Hours: 8:00am to Midnight
The Unisphere symbolized an interconnected and energized world to visitors of the 1964 World’s Fair. More recently, the adjacent towers were the launching pad for aliens in the popular movie “Men in Black.”
Queens Theatre in the Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park – Located in the former New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair, and designed by Philip Johnson, Queens Theatre in the Park presents theater, comedy, dance, children’s entertainment and a film series in its Main State Theater and its small cabaret / block box Studio Theater.
The American Small Craft Association offers instruction in sailing on Meadow Lake within the Park.
(718) 699-1951 or
Queens Botanical Garden
At the north end of the park, 39 acres support a variety of herbs, trees and flowers, and a host of educational programs.
43-50 Main St., Flushing, NY 11355
Playground for All Children
This open space is fun for kids from all over the world.
New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation 111-01 Corona Ave., Corona, NY 11368
After playing at the playground, take a ride on the antique Carousel.
Queens Wildlife Center
Animal exhibits in natural settings provide programs for schools, family, scouts and the public.
53-51 111th St., Corona, NY 11358
Queens Museum of Art
The museum presents exhibitions of contemporary art and photography throughout the year. It also contains one of New York’s best-loved permanent exhibitions – the Panorama of New York City, a meticulously rendered model of all five boroughs that encompasses an entire gallery and is observed from above.
Flushing, NY 11368-3398
This 18,000 sq. foot indoor rink is located in the New York City Building, opposite the Queens Museum of Art.
Open October – April.