US

Expensive debate over future of aging relics of NYC 1964 World's Fair: Preserve or demolish?

  • Space-age towers, topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars once called the “Tent of Tomorrow,” looms as relics remaining from the 1964 World's Fair, on Tuesday April 1, 2014 in the Queens borough of New York.  As this month’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair approaches, a group of preservationists is fighting to save the pavilion, but others see them as annoying eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and up to $72 million for renovation.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Space-age towers, topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars once called the “Tent of Tomorrow,” looms as relics remaining from the 1964 World's Fair, on Tuesday April 1, 2014 in the Queens borough of New York. As this month’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair approaches, a group of preservationists is fighting to save the pavilion, but others see them as annoying eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and up to $72 million for renovation. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Space-age towers, topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars once called the “Tent of Tomorrow,” looms as relics remaining from the 1964 World's Fair, on Tuesday April 1, 2014 in the Queens borough of New York.  As this month’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair approaches, a group of preservationists is fighting to save the pavilion, but others see them as annoying eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and up to $72 million for renovation.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Space-age towers, topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars once called the “Tent of Tomorrow,” looms as relics remaining from the 1964 World's Fair, on Tuesday April 1, 2014 in the Queens borough of New York. As this month’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair approaches, a group of preservationists is fighting to save the pavilion, but others see them as annoying eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and up to $72 million for renovation. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This 1964 file photo shows the colorful canopy of the New York State Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in New York. It was designed as sleek, space-age vision of the future: a pavilion of pillars with a suspended, shimmering roof that the 1964 World’s Fair billed as the “Tent of Tomorrow.” That imagined tomorrow has come and gone. Now the structure and its three nearby observation towers are abandoned relics, with rusted beams, faded paint and cracked concrete. As the fair’s 50th anniversary approaches, the remains of the New York State Pavilion are getting renewed attention, from preservationists who believe they should be restored, and from critics who see them as hulking eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and $32 million to $72 million for renovation.  (AP Photo/File)

    FILE - This 1964 file photo shows the colorful canopy of the New York State Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in New York. It was designed as sleek, space-age vision of the future: a pavilion of pillars with a suspended, shimmering roof that the 1964 World’s Fair billed as the “Tent of Tomorrow.” That imagined tomorrow has come and gone. Now the structure and its three nearby observation towers are abandoned relics, with rusted beams, faded paint and cracked concrete. As the fair’s 50th anniversary approaches, the remains of the New York State Pavilion are getting renewed attention, from preservationists who believe they should be restored, and from critics who see them as hulking eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and $32 million to $72 million for renovation. (AP Photo/File)  (The Associated Press)

As this month's 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World's Fair approaches, a debate has emerged about what to do with some of the fair's most famous structures.

Three towers topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars once called the "Tent of Tomorrow" still sit as abandoned relics in the middle of Queens' Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

A group of preservationists is fighting to save them, but others see them as annoying eyesores that should be torn down. Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and up to $72 million for renovation.

Among the ideas are to convert the towers once again into observation decks or an elevated garden, with the open-air pavilion below turned into a concert performance space.