Thursday, April 12, 2007

Skyride, Seattle World's Fair 1962

Where were you in '62? Maybe you went to the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. You can still see remnants of that Expo, including the famous Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail. This fair seems to be overshadowed by the 1964 World's Fair, even though the New York fair was not "official" (it was not sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions). Still, from what photos I've seen, it would have been a lot of fun!

The Skyride building is one of the most colorful and playful designs. I've always loved the big orange spheres that were used by Union 76 (which seem to be getting phased out in favor of boring flat plastic signs) appears that the scalloped roof of this building was made of a transluscent "Union 76 orange" plastic too. There were obviously two stations, does anybody know if they were identical?

Also, notice that these Skyride buckets are completely enclosed. Seattle is famous for its rain! I can't help wondering if Disneyland couldn't have put windows in their vehicles? If it's true that the danger of people dropping things on guests was one reason to get rid of the ride, than plexiglass might have been a solution. I'd miss the open-air experience, but at least they'd still be there.


Anonymous said...

I was 10 years old when the Fair was running and I remember this ride, but I can't remember if both terminals were the same! However, I don't think they were. Seems to me that the other end ended up in the carnaval area and in a far less interesting building. As I recall, the roof of this building was make of plexiglass. I also remember being VERY hot inside the bucket as the Fair ran through the summer and even Seattle get hot then!

Anonymous said...

The windows must have been removed at some time as I can clearly remember my friend and I leaning out and shouting at friends from above, sometime in the mid 70's.

Anonymous said...

This ride still exists, it was sold to and moved to the Puyallup Fair grounds in 1980. I just rode it yesterday 9/10/2011.

At the '62 Fair both terminal buildings were of the same design, it ran from near the original terminus of the Monorail and just above the Gayway (amusement rides) to another terminal past the International Fountain and Coliseum to the World of Commerce and Industry in the Northwest corner of the grounds.

Mark H. Besotted said...

I'm posting from the distant future -- 2015. I just rode these buckets at the WA State Fair this week, and the stations are still intact! I assumed these stations were original, but couldn't quickly find a picture in Bill Cotter's great book about the fair - thanks for the confirmation. (I've been slowly making my way through the GDB archives at bedtime each day, and am up to May 2015. I'll post more comments once I'm caught up.)