The Unisphere, the once shining centerpiece of the World's Fair, has been so neglected that it's begun to sprout grass through its cracks. The Daily News pointed it out to the Parks Department, who "suspect that bird droppings and leaves collected in the base of the 12-story landmark, providing the perfect conditions for germination when seeds blew in and feasted on rain water."
While one local joked it could be a Chia Unisphere, others were not so lighthearted about the neglect, saying, "If this was in Manhattan, the Unisphere would be pristine and it'd be polished every year. It's really sad." Well, it does have a sort of post-apocalyptic charm.
The sphere was restored and cleaned thoroughly in 1994, but has since been vandalized and built up more grime. The paper notes, however, that "After the U.S. Open ends next month, the city will fence off the Unisphere fountains and fix the pumping system" (which currently leaks into a nearby museum). In the meantime, here are a few images from the glory days.