Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Backstory and Context
The land that is now Flushing Meadows Park was once a dumping ground known as the Corona Ash Dumps, referenced in The Great Gatsby as the valley of ashes. The Ash Dumps covered a sizeable plot of land, and as the 1939/1940 World’s Fair was approaching, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses called for the land to be entirely cleared in order to be used as the staging grounds for the World’s Fair. Once the World’s Fair had come and gone, the buildings therein were converted for different uses, such as the temporary headquarters of the United Nations in 1946, as well as the permanent home of the Queens Museum of Art.
The Park was once again the site of a World’s Fair, this time for the 1964/1965 edition. At this time, the Park was renamed from the Flushing Meadows Park to the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and a monument, the Unisphere, was built for the event. After the second round of Worlds’ Fairs came to an end, the Park began hosting more events, such as the US Open tennis tournament, which has been located there since 1978. A number of sports stadiums were constructed starting in 2008 with the completion of the Flushing Meadows Natatorium and Ice Rink. In 2009, Citi Field was constructed, and in 2010, a skate park was constructed in order to host a skateboarding competition, the Maloof Money Cup.