The Candela Structures


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Welcome, New York Times Readers

Paul Lukas and Kirsten Hively here. We're the ones who wrote the article about the World's Fair pavilions that appeared in the May 26, 2013 edition of the Times, which included a link to this site and is presumably how you found your way here.

That article is the culmination (for now) of a lengthy research project we've been pursuing since 2008, when we first developed a crush on the fiberglass shells in Queens. We felt they were an overlooked New York treasure that deserved to have their story told, so we began researching their history. It turned out to be a much deeper and more complicated rabbit hole than we'd anticipated, filled with misinformation and mysteries.

In 2009 we produced a small museum exhibit about the pavilions, which Susan Dominus of the Times wrote about. This website was created as a companion to that exhibit. We've learned a lot more about the pavilions since then, most of which is summarized in the Times article we've just written.

We're happy you've discovered our website, and we hope you'll explore it. But we're even happier that you now know about these wonderful fiberglass structures. Visit them, tell your friends about them, and most of all enjoy them. We think they're really special, and we hope you agree.

— Paul Lukas and Kirsten Hively, May 2013


About This Site

This web site began as a companion project to the museum exhibition The Candela Structures: A New York City History Mystery, which was on view at the City Reliquary in Brooklyn in the summer of 2009. The exhibit and web site have both been produced by designer Kirsten Hively and journalist Paul Lukas, who've been interested in (okay, obsessed with) these pavilions since September of 2008. Want to know more about Kirsten? Links to some of her projects are here. For more about Paul, look here. And for more about the marina pavilions and this research project, explore the rest of this site.


About This Research Project

Or: How Attending a Mets Game Changed Our Lives for the Better Part of a Year
By Paul Lukas

In September of 2008, I was working on an article about Shea Stadium, which was slated to be demolished that winter. In the course of my research, I came across a discussion board where people were sharing memories and old photos of Shea. One of them posted the following note:

When Shea was built, I remember that it corresponded very well to the aesthetics of the 1964-65 World's Fair. … One of Shea's best and most "futuristic" features were the beautiful, white, soaring bus shelters that were like those of the rest of the Fair. They're still there, though unused and crumbling, over by the bay, towards LaGuardia, near where people now have to park, if you walk west under the [Whitestone] Expressway.

Later in the same thread, someone responded by posting this photo.

Hmmm, intriguing. But I had attended about 200 Mets games over the years and had no idea what these people were referring to. How could that be? A few weeks later, I attended one last game at Shea, this time accompanied by Kirsten, and we decided to arrive early so we could check out these futuristic bus shelter thingies.

Read the whole story...