New York State Pavilion Paint Project


~Who's Who~


John Piro- Founder


1) Where were you born and raised? I was born on the west side of Manhattan where I lived until I was 10 years old, and because of Robert Moses building Lincoln Center my family had to move. So we moved to Astoria, Queens, where I lived during the Fair years.


2) What is your favorite fair or fair-related memory? I have a couple. First was when my uncle who worked at the fair got me a job there working as a busboy at one of the restaurants called the British Lion Pub. Then in '65 my rock band, in which I played the drums, performed at the New Jersey Pavilion in the Battle of the Bands, what a great time in my life.


3) How did the fair influence you then and how does it today? I always loved design and building, and pavilions like GM, Ford, and IBM and their displays stayed in

my mind. To this day I am doing a lot of custom design construction.

4) When did you get involved with the paint project and why? I started in 2009, after years of going to Flushing Meadows Park and seeing the slow deterioration of the NYSP. Those good times and the beauty of the Fair always stayed with me and so I felt I needed to do my part in restoring this great building.


5) What does the NYSP mean to you and what do you hope for its future? This pavilion is a testament to a time and place when the space race was on and many things were changing in this country. Its design is of another era, but still has a unique look. I feel there is a great future for this structure. I myself would like to see it become a convention center, with the towers becoming a restaurant and enclosed observation decks.


6) What do you do for a living and what (else, besides painting the NYSP) do you do for fun? I am in home remodeling, and for fun my wife Kathleen and I love travel; going to Manhattan for theater, museums. And most of all, we love to be with our son and daughter with whom we have a blast.