Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New York World's Fair at Night

Fairs and amusement parks always look more beautiful at night, and that goes for World's Fairs as well. A lot of thought went into planning the colors used in various sections, and as nice as these photos are, they probably only give an inkling as to how amazing it looked in person.

First up is the "Solar Fountain", not too far from the Eastman Kodak pavilion. It's a bit hard to see the golden sun at the top of the jets of water. I believe that the Japan pavilion is right behind it, with the Sky Ride silhouetted against the sky. I have a nice daytime photo of the Solar Fountain in this post.

Here's a pretty shot of the ornate Thailand pavilion. Here's what the official guidebook says: The main building, patterned after an ancient Buddhist shrine, has a gilded, tiered and spired roof rising nearly 80 feet. The building was inspired by a shrine north of Bangkok where a sacred footprint of the Buddha is preserved. The ornate roof was built in Thailand, shipped to the U.S. piece by piece and assembled on the fairgrounds. In this building and an adjoining wing, exhibits reflect the arts, crafts and traditions of ancient Siam and modern-day Thailand. In another wing are a gift shop and restaurant offering national products and dishes.

And finally, here's a photo of the colorful Tower of Light. The Tower was famous for it's intensely bright searchlight that shone straight up into the heavens, but that appears to have not been turned on yet. More guidebook info: The world's most powerful searchlight beam rises from the center of this unusual building, whose exterior walls consist of 600 aluminum prisms fitted together to form an eye-catching pattern. Sponsored by investor-owned electric utility companies throughout the nation, the building is entered by a moving ramp that carries visitors over a reflecting pool and deposits them on a giant turntable. The turntable revolves past seven chambers, stopping at each chamber for a new episode of a musical presentation on the benefits of electricity.

I hope you've enjoyed these photos from the New York World's Fair!


Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely pictures of an event sadly missed. It's interesting how similar the description of the Electric Pavilion's display sounds to the Carousel of Progress. Thanks as always...

Chuck said...

I love the colors on the Tower of Light, but I'm not sure I'd want to be deposited on a giant turntable. What if a giant decided to listen to his brand-new copy of "Meet the Beatles" while I was there? Somebody warn those sailors to run before it's too late!

I'd never looked closely at the Solar Fountain before, but now I see it must have been full of motion, with swirling water jets around the base. I'll have to see if I can't track down some film of it.

These are a real treat, Major. I grew up staring in wonder at a few few time exposures my dad took at the NYWF that lived in a drawer in our family room, but they were all in black & white, so all the times I looked at those pictures as a kid I had no idea just how vibrant the place must have looked in person. Thanks as always for sharing.

Tom said...

I love the nighttime shots of the '64 NYWF. All the colors and details. Bonus luminaire sightings in that second photo, trying to share the stage with the Thailand pavilion.

Thanks for sharing these! I hope there are a ton more, never get tired of seeing photos from that fair.

K. Martinez said...

Can't pick a favorite because all three of today's images are beautiful. Just wish I was born a wee bit earlier in time to have been able to see something like this in person and actually comprehend it. Like Tom said, hope there are more to come.

Thanks ,Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I thought the same thing regarding the Carousel of Progress, although my guess is that the Tower of light turntable was in the middle with the scenes on the outside.

Chuck, I do worry about giants all the time! I’m not sure you have mentioned that your dad had taken photos at the NYWF (you probably have). I don’t suppose you know where those are? (hint hint)

Tom, I have a bunch of photos from the Fair - not so many night views though.

K. Martinez, I feel the same way. And I used to joke with my mom that if I had been born just a few years earlier she could have taken me and my brother to Woodstock! Little kids among all those blazing hippies, what could go wrong.

Chuck said...

Major, I honestly haven't worried much about giants since we left the Bay Area in '76. I understand there have been periodic sightings in Flushing Meadows since May of 1964, although there are no documented incidents of them menacing the Fairgrounds.

I do have digital copies of the slides my dad took at the Fair, although they need some Photoshoppe tweaking. I haven't seen those B&W prints for decades, although I'm sure my parents still have them if they didn't lose them in a basement flood about nine years back. I'll see if I can't dig those up on my next visit.

Anonymous said...

I guess Blogger ate my earlier comment.

Anyway, these are great images Major, thanks for sharing them.


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, no not those Giants! Yes, see if you can find your dad’s photos. If they need tweaking, maybe I can help.

JG, it’s strange, once in a while I hear that some comments disappear (or never appear at all) - unfortunately that is beyond my control.