The building was created as the New York City Building* for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park. From 1947 – 1952, it became the first headquarters for the United Nations. Between 1952 – 62, the entire building became an ice skating rink. In 1964, it served again as the New York City Building for the World’s Fair, and the southern half of the building became the World’s Fair Ice Skating Rink. In 1972, the Queens Museum of Art was created in the northern half of the building. Architect Rafael Vinoly remodeled the museum interior between 1990 – 1994.
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and associates became involved in the Museum’s renovation in 2005. Once the Queens Museum renovations were well under way and a new ice skating rink had been created, the old rink was demolished in 2009-10.
The Grimshaw Partnership, with offices worldwide, has other projects including the planning and architecture for the Caixa Galicia Art Foundation in SA Coruna, Spain and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, slated for completion in 2015.
— Jan Garden Castro
— Jan Castro (www.jancastro.com) is an art historian and author based in Brooklyn. She is is Contributing Editor at Sculpture Magazine; her “In the Studio” blog is posted at Sculpture.org.
Queens Museum, 2014. Photos by David Sundberg, Esto. Courtesy Queens Museum.
* Editor’s Note: The New York City Building was originally designed for the 1939 World’s Fair by architect Aymar Embury II, who designed Guild Hall, East Hampton, in 1930.
Long Island Expressway to Grand Central Parkway West. Exit the Grand Central at the first exit, Tennis Center (9P), turn right and follow signs to Museum.
Located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens.
Visit these AAQ Museum Architecture Portfolios (links)
Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland / 2006 – 2008
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge / 2014
MAD — Museum of Arts and Design, NYC / 2016
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY / 2012
The Clark Institute of Art, Berkshires / 2014
The Morgan Library & Museum, NYC / 2006
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford / 2017
Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC / 2015
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven / 2012