Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New York World's Fair

It's July 1965, and we're at the New York World's Fair! In this first photo we are over in the Amusement Zone, looking across Meadow Lake at the Florida pavilion. There's the amphitheater where you can watch the thrilling water ski show (the theater is left over from the 1939/40 Fair). There was also a porpoise and seal show, and exhibits heralding all of the wondrous qualities of the Sunshine State. Another attraction (not part of the Florida pavilion) is the full-sized replica of the Santa Maria. Researchers in Barcelona and Washington DC went to great pains to make this 110-ton ship as accurate as possible. Right down to the rats!

Hey, mom and dad, let's go the Festival of Gas next! I have plenty of gas-related puns and jokes just itching to be used and abused. Some of the featured attractions: a fun house, a carousel, a magic show, and a puppet show. But the carousel must not have been an ordinary merry-go-round! "A giant elevated carousel carries visitors on a tour of the World of Gas, from gaslit streets of yesteryear to a futurstic city of tomorrow." Sounds pretty fun! 

The Festival of Gas makes a cameo appearance (over to the right), and the spires of the Mormon Pavilion can be seen near the center of the photo. It's a 3/4 size replica of part of the famous temple in Salt Lake City, and man-oh-man, was it a popular photo subject. Most lots of slides that I have from the Fair feature at least one (and sometimes several) pictures of this building. But the things I like about this picture the most are the Sikorsky helicopter that is on its way to or from the top of the Port Authority building (which still stands today), and the jet that is probably leaving from John F. Kennedy Airport (see this view, taken from an airplane!).


Rich T. said...

That Carousel of Gas really does sound fun! Until proven otherwise, I'm going to imagine it was an awesome E-ticket worthy attraction.

Chiana_Chat said...

"A giant elevated carousel carries visitors on a tour of the World of Gas, from gaslit streets of yesteryear to a futurstic city of tomorrow."

What a gas!

Ah the rats of the Santa Maria. If they'd chosen Santa Maria of California instead, there could have been fresh strawberry stands to go with them Florida oranges. And there could've been smoothies instead of the all-porpoise seal show. Geography and History matter.

Melissa said...

I love the multiplane effect of the roofs and awnings on the gas pavilion.

K. Martinez said...

Love the air traffic over the temple. Great image.

Nanook said...

The mind reels at the thought of a "fun house" devoted to natural gas. I guess the Imagineers missed their chance to be the first on their block with that one.

Douglas McEwan said...

In July of 1965, at the NY World's Fair was exactly where I was. It was a wonderful trip. I'm always glad to see it again.

dennis said...

Always a pleasure seeing your Worlds Fair pictures! Thank you!
Dennis, Levittown NY

Nancy said...

beautiful! esp the street lamps that I lust after...

Major Pepperidge said...

Rich T, it kills me that I will never see what this attraction was really like. Even photos are probably rare or nonexistent.

Chiana, I think Columbus' crew is glad that he didn't shoot for California!

Melissa, me too. That fair was definitely a showplace for spectacular architecture.

K. Martinez, those helicopters must have come and gone with surprising regularity, I have quite a few photos that show one in the air.


Doug, I am jealous of your experience at the Fair!

Dennis, I know you like these Fair photos! I'm glad you are enjoying them.

Nancy, you could probably buy one for around $1000 if you ever find one! Why spend money on food?

Max Power said...

That Festival of Gas pavilion was pretty cool:
Too bad they never had the "air curtains" to A/C the whole structure.

Also, you can still find those lights in a few places:

The Viewliner Limited said...

I'll say it again... I wish I had seen this fair in person. Great pics Major. Will never tire of NYWF pics. Thanks.