New York State Pavilion Paint Project

   

~Who's Who~

   

Stephanie Bohn

   

1) Where were you born and raised? I was born in Sumter, SC at an air force base hospital; my father was air force at the time. We moved to Wilmington, DE when I was 2 years old so my father could attend Wilmington College. I was raised there and lived in northern Delaware until I moved to Pennsylvania in my late 20's.

   

2) What is your favorite fair or fair-related memory? I was born four years too late to attend the fair. However, as a history and research

enthusiast, as soon as I was made aware of the story of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, it became a favorite study topic of mine. If I were to imagine myself a young child in attendance at the fair and try to imagine what I would have cherished as a memory, I know that my first requested destination would have been the observation towers at the New York State Pavilion. I would have wanted to take a ride in the elevator to the top. Aside from that, my favorite fair-related memory would have to be discovering all of the facets of the fair through research. I have been able to step through the gates via reading and photographs, and even that is magical.

 

3) How did the fair influence you then and how does it today? The fair has had a strong influence on me by way of how I now think of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The fact that such a grand, magnificent fair (actually, two) took place on those grounds leads to my desire to ensure that the park and all fair remnants are preserved and cherished. I also believe that more resources should be allocated to the park so that it can be maintained properly. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is as much a part of our story as any other historic site and it should be treated as such. I will continue to do all that I can to advocate for the preservation and commemoration of the unique history of the park, the New York State Pavilion, and all other fair structures and features.

 

4) When did you get involved with the paint project and why? I am a history enthusiast, as I mentioned previously. I am very interested in being involved with preservation projects and I have been involved with multiple projects in the past, including volunteering for archaeological digs. When I became acquainted with Mitch and he mentioned the fact that he was involved with this one, it was a perfect fit for me and I offered to help. I still remember the day I got out of my car and looked up and up and up! When I first laid eyes on the NYSP, it took my breath away! My first paint day was in May of 2010 and I have been obsessively involved ever since!

 

5) What does the NYSP mean to you and what do you hope for its future? To me, the NYSP is a one-of-a-kind structure that is historically significant and spectacularly beautiful and should be preserved at all costs. It is frequently depicted in art and the media as a symbol of Queens, along with the Unisphere, and has undeniably reached the status of icon. When people see it, they think Queens. Many people traveling in the area see the NYSP from the highway and they are curious about it or are drawn to it. I have personally spoken to people who have exited the highway to find out its story. Fair fans from across the country make the trek to the park on dates representative of fair events just to see it and be near it. This highly visible and symbolic structure must look its best, it must be cared for and repurposed as something that everyone can enjoy. It could be a Visitor's Center for Queens, a starting off point for tourists making the trip to the park to get a look at the amazing view from the observation decks. It could be a multi-purpose convention center with many different types of spaces available for rent for all different kinds of functions. It could even be an open air element of the park for Queens residents to enjoy walking through, maybe with one or two rooms dedicated to the history of the fair. When I look at fair era photos of the NYSP, I am impressed by the fact that it was always filled with people who were drawn to the building, they were there to see the building (the map, the roof, the towers, etc.). Whatever its purpose, the NYSP needs to be filled with people again.

 

6) What do you do for a living and what (else, besides painting the NYSP) do you do for fun? I am an Inventory Coordinator at a large mail-order pharmacy. All that means is I research and problem-solve inventory issues in order to ensure prescriptions get out to patients in a timely manner. It is not too bad for me, as employment, due to my tendency to enjoy research. I have much more fun with my hobbies, however. I am very much into certain types of music, nothing too common, I prefer to dig deeper! I love movies; certain kinds. I like to make things and I paint paintings. I dabble in paranormal investigation. I have a number of collections; one of my favorite things to do is dig through antique marts looking for things to add to them. I enjoy writing and write as often as I can. On top of everything else, though, is my love for history and historic sites. Traveling to see them and photograph them, new ones and old favorites, is my preferred thing to do, especially as a vacation. I am not one to do the beach thing, I would much rather be standing in the middle of a battlefield, or in the middle of a gorgeous, historic park in Queens!

 

 

nyspproject.org

2014