Creative ideas for future for pavilion in Queens

Salmaan Khan grew up in Rego Park, Queens, looking at the decaying shell of the New York State Pavilion in the distance in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

"One of my earliest memories is seeing this thing off in the distance. I think a lot of people who are from Queens, their early memories is this," he said. "I've never been able to get an answer about what it is or what's happening there."

So Khan co-founded People for the Pavilion to inspire the city to reclaim and refurbish this structure for some yet-undetermined purpose.

To begin the brainstorming process, with the help of the Queens borough president and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, People for the Pavilion hosted an ideas competition, soliciting possible plans for the site from all over the world.

"Anything goes. No rules," Khan said. "Whatever you want."

The submissions period ended Friday. Among the more than 250 proposals we find a brewery, a giant swing-set and trampoline, a second high line, an elevated greenhouse, a giant electrical outlet with free Wi-Fi, a tower, a homeless shelter, a family-friendly dance club, a giant fountain, and a pool for orca whales.

"The whales are not quite going to happen," Khan said.

People can vote for their favorite design until July 15. A panel of judges then chooses the other winners whose plans go on exhibit at the Queens Museum in August.

Built in 1964 for the World's Fair, the pavilion later hosted concerts and housed a skating rink before the city shut it down after it fell into disrepair decades ago.