In the New York City borough of Queens, the future was once on grand display. In 1939 and 1964, New York hosted the World’s Fairs at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The events attracted millions of visitors to marvel at the epoch of innovation and industrialization. Today, the site and some structures from the 1964 exposition — dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe” — are still easily accessible, though rapidly showing their age.

A few buildings are still in use, such as The New York Hall of Science — a wonderful hands-on science museum with grounds decorated by rockets and quirky, retro, science-related sculptures. Walking through the park you can peek through the chain-link fence into the Queens Zoo and see a large geodesic dome that was built for the fair and now serves as an aviary. But surely the most interesting structures are the Unisphere and the sadly decaying Queens Theatre, which has fallen into disrepair, but still leaves an imposing impression. The park is a reminder of the optimism and excitement of the ’60s — when utopian futures seemed a sure and easy bet — and of how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go.

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New York City Guide LYDIA WHITE was born on the 4th of July and has been an independent spirit ever since. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she moved to Brooklyn in 2010. When not working as an interactive art director, she spends her free time exploring what NYC and the surrounding areas have to offer. White has been photographing interesting people and unusual landscapes for nearly a decade.

Follow her on Tumblr at lydia makes pictures or on her website,