New York State Pavilion Paint Project


~Who's Who~


Mitch Silverstein, Co-founder


1) Where were you born and raised? I was born in Brooklyn NY and moved out to North Massapequa on Long Island in 1963 in time for first grade and a year early for the fair.


2) What is your favorite fair or fair-related memory? I remember going to the fair in '64 and being amazed at all the different buildings and the size of the fair, it was huge to a little one. Although the main attractions were the latest technological advances and the grand scale of things, while on-line for the IBM pavilion with my family, I was very concerned that the catwalks we were on over water were sturdy enough for all the people!


3) How did the fair influence you then and how does it today? The fair helped me choose science for a career path. As a child, I had that inherent filter in me that sought knowledge. There was no internet and the fair was better than a library. That quest for knowledge still influences me today in my career and hobbies.


4) When did you get involved with the paint project and why? Feeling a bit nostalgic for the fair and having an interest in learning about the remaining legacies led me to an online forum, There was much talk about the decaying NYSP and when the opportunity came to help John P. I was the one that jumped on it. We wanted to make a difference for something that had little attention in many years. Improve the park we loved, restore dignity to the pavilion and advocate for its survival.


5) What does the NYSP mean to you and what do you hope for its future? The NYSP reminds me of hope. I understand all the years where there were no funds to maintain it. However, it is still here. It perseveres and is now ready to give back to the community. I am hoping enough interest will garner funds to re-purpose it for multiple uses. People will come to see it and use it. Looking forward to that day.


6) What do you do for a living and what (else, besides painting the NYSP) do you do for fun? After the fair closed in 1965, I returned to Shea Stadium to see the Beatles. The visit also gave me a chance to see all the demolition in process. Although I knew it would happen it was a bit shocking; knowing it would all be gone. My geek void was filled with Star Trek, the original TV series, in 1967. That solidified my future professional career in the sciences and laboratory operations which is what I currently do. I am also a collector of many collections. My main pile of stuff is 1964-65 New York World’s Fair items, souvenirs and artifacts (a profile of society). I also collect fossils and amber (scientific); ancient artifacts (art); and various smaller collections. I also enjoy research, preservation and restoration work with my friends and maintaining websites that share some of this research and collections.

© 2014