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January 9, 2006

Tiny City


We took a mini field trip on Saturday to the Queens Museum of Art with one main mission: to visit the Panorama of the City of New York.

This thing is truly amazing. I had read about the panorama before and then studied it in more detail this semester; still, it was hard to imagine how someone could create such a gigantic scale model. It was even more enthralling to stand in a room and see a miniature version of your daily life-- and the zillions of places that you do not see or explore on any given day.

Robert Moses and Lester Associates built the panorama for the 1964 World�s Fair. It is a 9,335 square foot architectural model that includes every building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs-- 895,000 individual structures! The model was revamped in 1992 and the museum plans to bring it up to date once more on 05/06, this time removing the World Trade Center and replacing the towers with lasers that will simulate the Tribute in Light.

The panorama is one of those exhibits that, had I seen it as a child, I would have run home and attempted to recreate it on my bedroom floor. During our visit, I had to fight the urge to crawl over the barrier and walk over to Brooklyn to take a closer look. Instead, I was the dork hanging 3/4 of the way over the exhibit, attempting to steady a telephoto lens and yelling out Alexis, Look! I see Officer's Row!

Posted by callalillie at January 9, 2006 5:24 AM | City Life , History


When I saw the title of your posting my thought immediately went to riding over this very exhibit at the NY World's Fair back in the day, straining to find our house at the far edge of the map.

It is a very impressive piece of work.

Posted by: jane at January 9, 2006 10:36 AM

The only thing I wish the museum had was a way to hover over the middle of the panorama. That way we could see our houses, etc. I think they had some sort of simulation of that at the '64 World's Fair...

Posted by: corie at January 9, 2006 11:35 AM


Posted by: jason at January 9, 2006 11:39 AM

this just makes me want to play sim city.

Posted by: tien at January 9, 2006 1:51 PM

Yes, when I was a little kid I had a vivid dream of holding the actual living world in my hands. I haven't forgotten that and so any kind of panoramam is fascinating to me, now

Posted by: Jane at January 10, 2006 9:35 AM

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