New York State Pavilion Paint Project


~Who's Who~


Thomas Bleuzen


1) Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Elmhurst, which is a part of Queens, NYC.


2) What is your favorite fair or fair-related memory? I’m 23, so I was not born yet when the fair took place in 1964-65. However, I do have a favorite fair-related memory, which is the event our NYSP Project Team hosted on April 22, 2014. The amazing outpouring of people to whom the fair meant so much, and still means so much, made me extremely proud of all the hard work we’ve done. 


 3) How did the fair influence you then and how does it today? The Fair has made me realize how interconnected we all are. It’s given me a sense of how I am connected to the history of where I'm from and how I can make a difference, if I'm willing to make an effort. The Fair, to me, is like a bridge to history. I can be there through the people I meet and the experiences they share with me. I can then share these experiences, and many other things I've learned on my own, and be a bridge to those younger than I am. This way, I can be a part of keeping the hopes and dreams of the Fair part of not only our past, but also our future.


4) When did you get involved with the paint project and why? I got involved with the paint project three years ago (2011). I stumbled upon the project when I was researching Walt Disney’s involvement with the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair (he designed and built four of the Pavilions). I found through my research that there was still a Fair pavilion standing, The New York State Pavilion. I’d seen the building featured in films, but had not known its name, history, or that it was still intact. As I continued my research on the structure of the NYS Pavilion, I found that there was a group of volunteers who were painting it in order to preserve it and to help generate interest so that perhaps one day funds would be allocated to restore the Pavilion. I found a day when the volunteer group would be painting and decided to stop by, as I lived so close. Before that day, I had not been in the New York State Pavilion because it was not open to the public. I stopped by and had a chance to meet and talk at length with the paint crew and joined their volunteer group. Working as a volunteer with the New York State Pavilion paint crew has been tremendously rewarding and an amazing learning experience for me. Every time I paint, I not only learn more about the NYS Pavilion, but I also learn something new about the history and importance of the Fair from my fellow volunteers; this is what I cherish most. The NY World’s Fair had such a huge influence on New York itself and also on the world, through fascinating and ahead-of-their-time technological innovations, many of which can be seen in use today.


5) What does the NYSP mean to you and what do you hope for its future? The NYSP means a lot to me. From the years of working with my team to revitalize the Pavilion, I feel as if I'm part of the Pavilion's story now. Through my experiences with the paint crew working on the NYSP, I feel more personally connected with New York's, and with Queens', history. I hope, and strongly believe, that the NYSP will be renovated so that it can once again be a thriving place where people can meet, interact, learn, and just enjoy themselves.  The NYSP is a unique part of New York's past and I know it can be a special part of New York's future.


6) What do you do for a living and what (else, besides painting the NYSP) do you do for fun? I work for The Disney Company in Orlando, FL. For fun, I like to research and study the World’s Fairs as well as the Disney theme parks.

© 2014