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Filmmaker Matthew Silva recently launched a Kickstarter for post-production of a documentary on the pavilion’s history, both as an icon of the fair and its short-lived history as a concert venue and rollerskating rink. Silva is also a co-founder of the People for the Pavilion group which had their own kick-off event on January 25 to promote more public interest in revitalizing the structure. The filmmaker has been interviewing architects, fair participants, historians, and other figures associated with the pavilion since February of 2013, and the film has the potential to give the old pavilion more visibility than even some after-dark lighting.
And that’s really what the New York State Pavilion might most be lacking. Although it’s far from invisible — its towers shoot up in all vistas in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and it is a hulking presence alongside its more elegant fellow World’s Fair relic the Unisphere. But unless you sneak through the hole in the fence to wander around the massive Texaco road map in the Tent of Tomorrow, rough with age and wear, or are intrepid enough to use a grappling hook and scale the sides of the observation towers, all you get is this strange view of a mess of faded red and white stripes (repainted by volunteers in 2009), spikes of rusted metal, and a net of cables where there was once a colorful screen of transparent panes.

More: 50 Years on, a World’s Fair Ruin Might Finally Find a Future

Filmmaker Matthew Silva recently launched a Kickstarter for post-production of a documentary on the pavilion’s history, both as an icon of the fair and its short-lived history as a concert venue and rollerskating rink. Silva is also a co-founder of the People for the Pavilion group which had their own kick-off event on January 25 to promote more public interest in revitalizing the structure. The filmmaker has been interviewing architects, fair participants, historians, and other figures associated with the pavilion since February of 2013, and the film has the potential to give the old pavilion more visibility than even some after-dark lighting.

And that’s really what the New York State Pavilion might most be lacking. Although it’s far from invisible — its towers shoot up in all vistas in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and it is a hulking presence alongside its more elegant fellow World’s Fair relic the Unisphere. But unless you sneak through the hole in the fence to wander around the massive Texaco road map in the Tent of Tomorrow, rough with age and wear, or are intrepid enough to use a grappling hook and scale the sides of the observation towers, all you get is this strange view of a mess of faded red and white stripes (repainted by volunteers in 2009), spikes of rusted metal, and a net of cables where there was once a colorful screen of transparent panes.

More: 50 Years on, a World’s Fair Ruin Might Finally Find a Future

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This long piece about Detroit and its environs is worth the read, but I’ll single out three passages I enjoyed. The first is about ruins, and particularly that former theater that’s been turned into a parking garage: 

You’ve probably seen it in a movie or television commercial. It is arguably this ruined city’s most breathtaking ruin, beloved by photographers, journalists, and academics for the easy irony of Ford automobiles parking in a ruined theater on the site of the garage where Henry Ford built his first automobile.

What’s more interesting, I think, is how this building represents a sort of unintentional preservation. The thing about ruins is at least they’re still there. At least this is not just another surface lot. And with so much of the rest of the historical city lost to development and demolition, there is the deeper irony that fifteen miles away Henry Ford moved so many historical buildings brick-by-brick from elsewhere around the country and “preserved” them as decontextualized structures in a counterfeit community.

That highlighted bit was, obviously, my favorite moment, but I like the broader point, too.

Okay so then the second bit is this, later in the essay, pivoting to Detroit’s suburbs:

Today Detroit’s suburbs are where all the action is. One of the reasons people around here get so mad when journalists and photographers parachute in and represent Detroit as a shithole is because there are millions of people here living in safe, well-kept neighborhoods in dozens of thriving suburban communities.

Many early Detroit suburbs (including the Grosse Pointe communities, Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham) have walkable downtowns filled with the kinds of businesses that people value in actual cities around the world. “Downtown” Southfield has more workers and office space than downtown Detroit. With big-city amenities come big city problems: the suburban traffic situation is a nightmare, the parking situation sucks, and there are people everywhere.

And of course, most suburban open spaces long ago gave way to subdivisions, strip malls, and parking lots for shopping malls and big-box stores.

I particularly like this point:

With all their recent development and growth, it can be easy to forget that these suburbs of Detroit have their own histories. But there was a time before sprawl when these small, historic communities and their citizens provided the lumber for Detroit’s homes, the food for its tables.

Traveling between these communities on superhighways, seeing their endless acres of subdivisions and the businesses built in the latter half of the 20th century along buzzing thoroughfares, I found myself shocked to find that places like Farmington and Northville had nice little historic downtowns. I never saw them through the sprawl.

So that’s useful.

Here’s how the piece wraps up, also useful:

It seems we are capable of interacting with history only through limited means.

The first way is through the tangible: through actual artifacts. When we hold an antique or view an antiquity with our own eyes in a museum, we understand that we are interacting with the same object in the same way as one of our predecessors.

But the second (and perhaps more important) way we interact with history is through the intangible; through our imaginations and the inspiration of others’ memories, their spoken or written words and artistic and photographic records. “History is about places of the mind,” says historian David Starkey.

Appreciating history through architecture still requires imagination. When we visit the Roman forum, we like to tell ourselves that we are “walking in the footsteps of Julius Caesar,” but that’s bullshit. And we know it.

Those bricks and columns have been toppled and rebuilt and been broken again before being screwed together by dozens of archaeologists thousands of years after Caesar was stabbed. And we know there are the footsteps of ten million German tourists between ours and those of any bald epileptic in a toga.

Still.

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Here’s a set of photos from the ruins of Heritage USA in Fort Mill, SC, the Christian themepark built by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker at the height of their evangelical empire, now fallen to ruins since its closure in 1989. It’s arguably a lot more fun to visit now than it ever was in its heyday. 

In the ruins of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Christian themepark - Boing Boing

Here’s a set of photos from the ruins of Heritage USA in Fort Mill, SC, the Christian themepark built by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker at the height of their evangelical empire, now fallen to ruins since its closure in 1989. It’s arguably a lot more fun to visit now than it ever was in its heyday. 

In the ruins of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Christian themepark - Boing Boing

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Sathorn Unique is a 50-story skyscraper in Bangkok that was meant to be a luxury living address but now it’s totally abandoned and decaying. Cory posted about this Ballardian behemoth earlier this year. BB contributor Chris Arkenberg saw the building from a boat several years ago and was so inspired that he made a killer instrumental hip hop soundtrack for the building.

(via Soundtrack for an abandoned skyscraper - Boing Boing)

Sathorn Unique is a 50-story skyscraper in Bangkok that was meant to be a luxury living address but now it’s totally abandoned and decaying. Cory posted about this Ballardian behemoth earlier this year. BB contributor Chris Arkenberg saw the building from a boat several years ago and was so inspired that he made a killer instrumental hip hop soundtrack for the building.

(via Soundtrack for an abandoned skyscraper - Boing Boing)

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The fate of all things: abandonment. Sooner or later what is built will  be left to crumble. In the goodness of time all manufactured structures  will be forgotten. Cities will disappear, skyscrapers will hollow out,  warehouses collapse, dams fall, and vehicles stop in their tracks. Here  is a wonderful catalog of modern ruins. Listed by country. Ruin is a global destiny.

Kevin Kelly.

The fate of all things: abandonment. Sooner or later what is built will be left to crumble. In the goodness of time all manufactured structures will be forgotten. Cities will disappear, skyscrapers will hollow out, warehouses collapse, dams fall, and vehicles stop in their tracks. Here is a wonderful catalog of modern ruins. Listed by country. Ruin is a global destiny.

Kevin Kelly.

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It’s no secret that artists thrive in abandoned spaces. Spotted at the recent Beyond/In Western NY Biennial in Buffalo, New York, one exhibit at the event featured a number of artists who turned the act of exploring forgotten spaces, into incredible pieces of art.
But these abandoned places aren’t underground or hidden in an obscure passageway. The city of Buffalo is infested with deserted homes, left behind as local manufacturing jobs disappeared.
But no longer – artist Dennis Maher has taken ownership of these places, and turned their contents into stunning sculptures.

Stunning Assemblages Made from Abandoned Houses | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

It’s no secret that artists thrive in abandoned spaces. Spotted at the recent Beyond/In Western NY Biennial in Buffalo, New York, one exhibit at the event featured a number of artists who turned the act of exploring forgotten spaces, into incredible pieces of art.

But these abandoned places aren’t underground or hidden in an obscure passageway. The city of Buffalo is infested with deserted homes, left behind as local manufacturing jobs disappeared.

But no longer – artist Dennis Maher has taken ownership of these places, and turned their contents into stunning sculptures.

Stunning Assemblages Made from Abandoned Houses | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Tags: Buffalo Ruins
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"fontaine interrogates herself on the implications and the cost of ‘building’ in the modern world."
“‘culture and the creation of forms, when emancipated from the direct experience of the people who should inhabit them and keep them alive, become nothing but arrogant and gratuitous gesticulations.’ - claire fontaine”
“‘unbuilding’ explores the construction and the deconstruction of spaces in both the literal and metaphorical sense. among the exhibited works is ‘counterpoison’, a film that was taken of an abandoned theatre in a popular neighborhood in glasgow. the stage and seats have been destroyed by local kids; wild animals have taken shelter in the dark corners of the theatre.”
claire fontaine: unbuilding
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"fontaine interrogates herself on the implications and the cost of ‘building’ in the modern world."

“‘culture and the creation of forms, when emancipated from the direct experience of the people who should inhabit them and keep them alive, become nothing but arrogant and gratuitous gesticulations.’ - claire fontaine”

“‘unbuilding’ explores the construction and the deconstruction of spaces in both the literal and metaphorical sense. among the exhibited works is ‘counterpoison’, a film that was taken of an abandoned theatre in a popular neighborhood in glasgow. the stage and seats have been destroyed by local kids; wild animals have taken shelter in the dark corners of the theatre.”

claire fontaine: unbuilding

)

Tags: Ruins
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"Like so many buildings, the station was slated for demolition, and according to a report from the New York Times, exists only because of a lawsuit to have it preserved as a historic landmark (not to mention the city’s $400 million budget deficit). So is it a symbol of urban decay and the inexorable decline of American infrastructure that should be bulldozed so the city can start anew? Or a priceless relic of a golden age in architecture and prosperity, that should be restored and put to good use?" Is Detroit’s Train Station a Decaying Mess or a Priceless Relic?

"Like so many buildings, the station was slated for demolition, and according to a report from the New York Times, exists only because of a lawsuit to have it preserved as a historic landmark (not to mention the city’s $400 million budget deficit). So is it a symbol of urban decay and the inexorable decline of American infrastructure that should be bulldozed so the city can start anew? Or a priceless relic of a golden age in architecture and prosperity, that should be restored and put to good use?" Is Detroit’s Train Station a Decaying Mess or a Priceless Relic?

Tags: Detroit ruins
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10 Japanese Ghost Towns - Asylum.com
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Documents demolition of Paul Rudolph homes