November 2, 2009

Save the Unisphere

check out a movie by clicking the photo, and sign the petition online
check out our proposal spearheaded by Rodney Torres after the jump

We're supporting local efforts led by Rodney Torres to add new skateboarding areas to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. These include a new skateboarding area under the Van Wyck Expressweay, new skateable art benches along the park's winding pathways,  and a new skate plaza near the Unisphere.

Friends of Flushing Meadows
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a beautiful park with skateable plazas known around the world. The Unisphere, the car free paths, fields, and dry fountains are filled with people biking, skateboarding, walking, and playing volleyball and soccer. Winding paths, open fields, and dry fountains promote a wide variety of activities not available in other nearby parks.

But now the Unisphere is closed to skateboarding, without any new skate park alternative nearby. So Friends of Flushing Meadows has been created to mobilize the community. We believe this park will be even more popular year round when the community is more involved in care and improvement. Skateboarder advocates are taking a lead in the Friends of Flushing Meadows, and are involving soccer, volleyball, and cricket players, bikers, and families in park improvements & supporting the Parks Department’s work in our park.

We are designing a beautiful new skate plaza near the Unisphere and need your support to make it happen. 

In addition to this new skate plaza, there are other areas of the park we'd like to open to recreation. The area under the Van Wyck now is just designed for cars, but people informally skate and play there. These areas could be made beautiful and safe recreational spots with a combination of professional design/build and DIY community efforts, like Burnside and FDR.

The Unisphere and Flushing Meadows have been a home for the local and worldwide skateboarding community for over 20 years, breeding new generations of talent, keeping kids motivated, progressing, and productively active. Skateboarders document their skills for skateboarding publications and video productions and these promote the park in a positive light. This coverage will help attract funding to the Parks Department for maintenance and capital projects, and for programming, events, and education for the Friends of Flushing Meadows.

There is great interest in the worldwide skateboarding community in the Unisphere, which is being returned to a prior life as a fountain despite its vastly more popular current use: active recreation and skateboarding. A petition is filled with signatures to reopen it, at least seasonally, for skateboarding. If the Unisphere itself can't be open to skateboarding, the petition shows how many skateboarders care about it, so there will be official support for a real skate park within close view. Many people consider skateboarding at Flushing Meadows, on the winding paths and around the Unisphere, as a cultural heart of the park.

Beyond the Unisphere, skateboarding and bicycling take place all over the park, in winding paths that extend around Meadow Lake and connect to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. There are paths around Willow Lake, in a natural wetlands area in the little-used far southern section of the park. Recreational playing fields and playgrounds in the park are used for activities that reflect the vast cultural mix of Queens like soccer, cricket, volleyball, biking and skateboarding.

Please get involved in three projects Friends of Flushing Meadows is working on now: 1) to design the fountain jets so the Unisphere can be open to skateboarding when the fountain is dry, 2) to add skate art + benches along the winding pathways, and 3) to create a new skatepark in Flushing Meadows and make areas now filled with cars new recreational space. All of these areas will be multi-use and welcoming to everyone in Flushing Meadows Park in Corona, Queens. Contact us at

skateboarders organizing at the hellraiser