I’d long seen pictures of this giant metal globe up in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens but when I finally visited, I could not believe how huge it is.
It’s called the Unisphere and it’s an incredible remnant of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The stainless steel structure was designed by top landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke after it was commissioned for the fair, which hosted participants from 58 countries. While a staggering 50 million people went to the event, that was still far less than the anticipated 70 million and after just two years, it fell into financial hardship and shuttered (although they opened the main area of grounds last year, its 50th anniversary).
Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, while up in the area for our family reunion, Ryan and I took a walk through the park and looked up at the metal looming above us.
Fancy some stats?
It weights 350 tons and measures 120-foot in diameter
It’s 140ft high – that’s 43 meters or 12-storeys
That makes it the world’s largest global structure
Coming from the globe are three giant orbital rings that represent the tracks of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, and Telstar, the first active communications satellite
In 1995, the Unisphere was designated an official city landmark
When you’re at the site, you can see other buildings that were built for the World Fair behind the Unisphere, such as those towering observation towers. They’re now largely derelict and unused, but I love how futuristic-looking they are.
And even better – there was ice cream too!
If you’ve never been, take a journey out to the park – it’s really beautiful – and marvel at the sheer size of that thing.