Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing Meadows / Corona Park is a 1,255 acre public park in Northern Queens in New York City.

The town of Vlissingen was first settled by the Dutch in 1645 under a charter of the Dutch West India Company and was named after a the company's home port in the Netherlands. The name Vlissingen supposedly means "salt meadow" and may have been a reference to the tidal flows of the meadow surrounding the Flushing River. The word Flushing was apparently a corruption of the name Vlinningen by the British settlers who inhabited the area and ultimately came to dominate it. (reference)

In the late 19th and early 20th century, this swampy site was a massive ash dump. Parks Commissioner and infrastructure czar Robert Moses led a project to reclaim the land as the site for the 1939/1940 World's Fair. Moses' plan was to use profits from the fair to convert the land into a public park after the closing of the fair, but the fair ended up losing money and the site was left to decay. Moses tried again at the end of his career with the 1964 World's Fair and although that venture also lost money, contracts with the participants mandated demolition of most buildings (which were intentionally not built to code) after the close of the fair. By 1967, Moses' vision for the park was finally realized.

While the park is a valuable recreational resource for the area residents, it pales in comparison to New York's other great urban parks as a thoroughly unsatisfying example of post-war urban design:

After being greeted at the Passarelle entrance by Andy Warhol's mosaic of Moses and looking over the winter-bare ballparks, empty fountains and crumbling relics of the 1964 fair, my mind kept going back to Percy Bysshe Shelley's 1817 poem Ozymandius:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said--"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium
Astral Fountain
Ball Fields
Citi Field
LIRR Station / 7 Train / Corona Yard / Parking Lot
Eddie's Garden
Ederle Terrace
The Excedra
Boathouse Bridge / Flushing Creek (Flushing River)
Fountain of the Fairs
Fountain of the Planets / The Pool of Industry
Freedom of the Human Spirit
Grand Central Parkway
IRT Substation 28
Long Island Expressway / Meadow Lake Bridge
New York State Pavilon / Observation Towers / Queens Theatre in the Park
NY Hall of Science
Passarelle Overpass / Entrance / Building
Pitch and Putt Golf Course
Buzz Vollmer Playground
Olympic Pool and Ice Rink
New York State Building / Queens Museum of Art
Rocket Thrower
Shea Stadium
Terrace on the Park
The Neighborhood Around Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Ugly Duckling
The Unisphere
Van Wyck Expressway
World's Fair Flagpoles
World's Fair Marina
World's Fair Trains

Next: Bennett Park / Fort Washington