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NEW YORK – They were designed for the 1964 World’s Fair as sleek, space-age visions of the future: three towers topped by flying-saucer-like platforms, and a pavilion of pillars with a suspended, shimmering roof that was billed as the “Tent of Tomorrow.”

That imagined tomorrow has come and gone. Now the structures are abandoned relics, with rusted beams, faded paint and cracked concrete.

As the fair’s 50th anniversary approaches, the remains of the New York State Pavilion are getting renewed attention, from preservationists who believe they should be restored, and from critics who see them as hulking eyesores that should be torn down.

Neither option would come cheap: an estimated $14 million for demolition and $32 million to $72 million for renovation.

“It is the Eiffel Tower of Queens,” says Matthew Silva, who’s making a documentary about the pavilion in Queens, comparing it to a remnant of the 1889 Paris Exposition that was also threatened with demolition before it was saved.

Designed by famed architect Philip Johnson, the New York structures debuted with the rest of the World’s Fair on April 22, 1964, and quickly became among its most popular attractions.

Visitors rode glass “Sky Streak” elevators to the observation deck of a 226-foot tower – the highest point in the fair.

The two shorter towers, at 150 and 60 feet, held a cafeteria and a VIP lounge.

The pavilion’s 16,100-foot-tall concrete columns supported what was then the largest suspended roof in the world, a 50,000-square-foot expanse of translucent, multicolored tiles.

On the floor below was a $1 million, 9,000-square-foot terrazzo tile map of the state, with details of cities, towns and highways. In the years after the fair, the pavilion was used as a music venue for such acts as Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac.

In the 1970s, it became a roller skating rink until the collapse of the ceiling tiles, leaving only bare cables behind.

The towers, while still structurally sound, were abandoned as observation decks long ago for safety reasons.

At the heart of the debate is the cost. While the city’s Parks Department commissioned studies on the cost of scrapping or renovating the complex, it is still unclear where that money would come from and, if restored, how the structures would be used. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has formed a task force dedicated to preserving the pavilion.