The Unisphere: See the World in Queens!

“Around the World…”

New York City is a cornucopia of famous landmarks, big and small.  And one of the most famous can be found at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens.  Actually, it’s more like, world-famous!  The giant steel globe, known only as the Unisphere.

The Unisphere, also known as the Globitron, is a 12-story stainless-steel model of the Earth, which sits in the middle of a large fountain.  The Unisphere was built as the symbol for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair in New York City.  The theme of the World’s Fair was “Peace Through Understanding” and it was dedicated to “Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe”.  Designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clark, the Unisphere was donated by U.S. Steel and was constructed by the American Bridge Company.  It is the world’s largest global structure, rising 140 feet and weighing 700,000 pounds.  Around the Unisphere are three metal rings that represent the routes of three of the most famous names in space travel during the 1960’s.  The routes include Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth; and Telstar, the first communications satellite.

In the realm of pop culture, the Unisphere has been featured in several movies, TV shows, music videos, and even video games which include Men in Black, The King of Queens, Puff Daddy, Craig Mack, Notorious B.I.G., and Grand Theft Auto.  For me, the coolest piece of pop culture that the Unisphere has been a part of is the hit reality show, The Amazing Race.  At the end of the first season, the race’s first finish line was located beneath the Unisphere.  And I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to cap off a whole season of racing around the world, than by ending it at a giant globe.  I can still replay that last scene over and over of getting off the subway, and racing nearly a mile on foot towards one of the most magnificent structures in New York.

“Looking up at the Earth!”

One of my favorite memories of the Unisphere was when I was coming out of a Mets game, and I decided to take a walk into Flushing Meadows.  As I walked towards the Unisphere, I saw that the fountain jets were on, and I saw dozens of kids running through the  jets with the biggest smiles you have ever seen!  I couldn’t resist and I immediately ran through, forgetting the fact that I had my cell phone,wallet, and camera in my pants, which got totally drenched!  But as I was dripping wet, I crept up under the sphere, and saw caught an excellent view from the bottom up.  Without hesitating, I snapped a picture of the Unisphere and ran right through the  water a second time.  My clothes were soaking, but I scored an excellent snapshot of one of my favorite monuments in New York.

 

“Not quite the North Pole”

 

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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