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Free with admission


For the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Board of Water Supply of New York City commissioned the Cartographic Survey Force of the Works Progress Administration to create a scale model of the New York City watershed, a relief map measuring almost 700 square feet and weighing 10,000 pounds. Tracing the city’s water supply system from the outermost, upstream tributaries of the Delaware River to sea level at the Nassau County line, the watershed model identified the various aqueducts, water shafts and drainage basins that feed the city’s water supply.

Due to space limitations within the New York City Pavilion, the model was never exhibited in its entirety. After nearly 70 years in storage, the 27 completed panels were in need of conservation. The model has now been restored and has returned to its intended home in the New York City Building (now the Queens Museum of the Arts) where it  remains on long-term loan. QMA commemorates this homecoming with an exhibition featuring the model, historical documentation and contemporary photographs of the New York City watershed.