Will Development Squeeze the Life Out of Queens' Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Shaped by two World's Fairs, the long-neglected, but intensely used, park is targeted for redevelopment. City officials plan for a new mall, a soccer stadium, and more parking, upsetting some in the local community.

Without the fame and dollars of other New York parks, Queens' Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is in need of facelift. The New York Times' Michael Powell looks at the city's controversial plans to revitalize the historic park.

"The Bloomberg administration has in mind multiple insults," says Powell. "In pursuit of its Xanadu dream for Willets Point, it wants to let the owners of the Mets and the Related Companies build a huge shopping mall on the park's western end...They are intent on letting the United States Tennis Association put up new parking lots and new roads. And, most perilous, city officials seem intent on letting Major League Soccer build a 25,000-seat stadium not on the park's edge, but at its very core."

Yet, intensely used by "immigrant New Yorkers who pour out of the densely packed streets of Corona, Elmhurst, Flushing and Jackson Heights," the park plays an important role in what Powell describes as the "upstairs/downstairs class divide" that "applies with great force to New York City's parks."

While the city sees the proposed development as a reliable revenue stream for the park, Powell asks why its current neighbors - "baseball owners and tennis barons" - can't provide for its upkeep. To save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, does its soul need to be destroyed?

Thanks to Andrew Gorden

Full Story: In Queens, an Oasis Neglected by the City

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