Remember that scene in Men in Black when Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have to climb up a tower in Queens to stop an alien from stealing a flying saucer on top of it? Well, if you’re unfamiliar, that’s a very real place called the New York State Pavilion, and it was designed for the 1964-65 World’s Fair by Philip Johnson. This futuristic creation, which features an observation deck called “Astro-View,” among many other sci-fi-looking features, has been celebrated for years by tourists and architects alike. In short, it’s regarded a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture that has attracted tons of people to Queens for years since its creation.
There’s just one problem: it’s falling apart. Yup, time has not been kind to the New York State Pavilion. Over the years, the structure has seemingly transformed from a Jetsons-like future structure to something that would look right at home next to the creepy amusement park in Chernobyl (you know the one). The good news is that this is all may change soon thanks to the New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition.
This competition, which is sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, People for the Pavilion, and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, hopes to raise awareness about the landmark by holding a design competition that’s open to the public, regardless of experience. This means that anyone can submit their ideas, even if they are off-the-wall. The first place winner will be awarded $3,000 and may have their design implemented in the future — though its ultimately up to the city government to decide what to do with the buildings, and they’re not obligated to follow any of these designs. The competition deadline is July 1, 2016 so if you have an idea, you better get a move on. So far, there’ve been quite a few awesome designs to choose from. Here are our favorites.