While we really enjoyed the film The Glass House and all that is Malibu and Diane Lane, this is not a film review. Philip Johnson’s “Glass House” or “Johnson House” was Philip’s residence. He was an important artist and his house was an important and influential project for Johnson and for modern architecture.
Why is this important? Well, he also designed the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow was immediately hailed as an architectural wonder when it was displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair. If you don’t know what we’re referring to, take a drive on the Grand Central Parkway and think Men in Black. Most of us have been passing it for the majority of our lives and listening to our parent’s stories of this epic fair. The remains look beat up but we can kind of understand why it was such a big deal.
What we see today isn’t even the whole picture. The roof of the pavilion was supposed to be covered in colored tiles like a kaleidoscope. Now, how cool would that be?! Unfortunately, the project was on the clock, weather didn’t cooperate and funding was obviously an issue so the roof is no more.
The reason we’re talking about the World’s Fair is because the ‘tent’ is being restored to some of its glory and youth. The Parks Department, the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Local 806, are painting the circus-tent-like skeleton for the first time since the fair.
While it won’t totally send us back in time, a fresh coat of yellow paint will revive some of the buzz that the World’s Fair created!
Like many projects around town, this one took a while to get through the bureaucracy. The good news is that it looks like it’s going to happen. Now, all we have to do is wait and our commutes will be enhanced as we sit in traffic on the Grand Central Parkway and LIE!