Friday, August 26, 2016

Carousel of Progress Construction

Today I have two more photos showing the construction of Disneyland's fabulous "New Tomorrowland"! This time we're concentrating on the Carousel of Progress building.

Scaffolding - scaffolding everywhere! The outside of the building is in place, but it's all pretty rough. Notice that they wasted no time in getting that G.E. sign up, however. The "Progressland" building at the 1964 New York World's Fair was considerably more spectacular, but then again the Fair pavilion contained more shows and a lot more displays.

I'm not really sure how Mr. X was able to get such a close shot of the Carousel's construction, unless there was a pathway with a pink and orange construction wall nearby. That being said, the camera level seems to be about 12 feet in the air. So what's the deal?? Skyway? Moon shoes? Fizzy lifting drink?

At the extreme right, about halfway up, you can see a construction worker. I think they should have left the scaffolding up as proof of Walt's declaration that Disneyland would never be finished.


Nanook said...


And to think all of this 'future stuff' still required scaffolding to erect. Hmmm. I'm so disillusioned.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Holy Carousel of Progress! I love these!

Mark H. Besotted said...

My new theory is this: Mr. X must keep his identity a secret, because he's constantly on the run from Disney security.

Why? Fifty years ago, he stole fizzy lifting drinks.

Tom said...

Here's how I do it: set the timer on my camera for 15 seconds, count down to 13 and then toss it up as high as I can. After about seventy eight shots, I get the one I want. That second picture probably woulda run around $249.95 in film and broken lenses.

Construction shots are the best! Thanks, Mr X and Major for bringing these gems to us!

Anonymous said...

These are great. I would love to see interior construction pics of the Carousel, such an innovative idea.


David Zacher said...

Carousel of Progress was ANOTHER favorite of mine. I never saw it being built so my theory of spontaneous construction is shaken by these pictures. I suspect Mr X was developing the selfie stick prototype. Hense all the secrecy.

Thanks, Major


Patrick Devlin said...

Boy, do I love construction shots! There's something interesting in the second shot: the Carousel used metal studs for the walls! I was wondering the other day with my brother about Disneyland's termite mitigation efforts. I'm guessing they're really good at it.

Great shots, and thanks to Mr. X.

TokyoMagic! said...

Patrick, I didn't notice that until you pointed it out. And then they went and tore out that entire lower level wall for the Tomorrowland '98 redo: Carousel Theater Gutted

Nanook said...

@ Patrick Devlin-

I hadn't really given any thought to the use of metal studs in commercial construction, as that seems to be the norm, and has been so for some time. But in the early construction of Disneyland, that wasn't true. So, you do bring-up an interesting point, that by 1966 at least, we can see the use of metal studs.

Anonymous said...

Metal studs are definitely the typical modern construction assembly for large commercial buildings. I'm always surprised by the old pics showing so much wood in Disneyland. When we see vertical construction in Star Wars Land, it will probably be mostly metal.

This is partly due to cost of material and speed of assembly. Metal is reliably flat, square and plumb, which doesn't always apply to wood, so it's easier to work with, less waste.

Depending on market demand, metal and wood go back and forth in cost advantage, when construction is slow, wood is cheaper, but when building is hot, metal is cheaper.

Also, depending on the size and occupancy of the structure, metal construction is required by building code for fire safety.

In the era of New Tomorrowland, metal was probably more expensive than wood overall, but the COP may have had metal framing since it was an "assembly occupancy", a theater, with lots of people in it, so the fire ratings are higher than for something like a snack bar or gift shop (like Main Street).

All of Disneyland looks to be fire-sprinklered, which also allows more freedom to use wood framing, but some occupancies must be Type I construction (non-combustible) by definition, including high occupancy theaters, tall buildings, and other sorts.

I wonder if there are any construction pictures of Toon Town since those buildings are so innovative in style and are mostly molded resin plastic.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, does it help if you call it “astro-scaffolding”?

TokyoMagic!, yay!

Mark H. Besotted, I forgot to mention that Mr. X was exposed to gamma radiation. He DOES seem stretchier than most people.

Tom, I like that idea, especially going to the park with 20 or 30 cameras. My daddy will buy me as many cameras as I want. And a pony!

JG, I would love to see that, but mere mortals are probably not going to the source for interiors.

David Zacher, his selfie stick was a piece of bamboo and some rubber bands, but dammit, it worked.

Patrick Devlin, somehow I am not as surprised that a rotating building would use metal rather than wood. Heck, the thing is still standing (though it hasn’t moved for a long time) all these years later.

TokyoMagic!, at least it was gutted for something amazing… Innoventions! I still remember a friendly cast member chatting to me and my date, and we were trying to figure out how to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

Nanook, even now it seems as if I see a lot of wood for commercial construction, unless it is a larger structure. Perhaps its flexible nature is an advantage in shaky California.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, You weren't alone. I think everyone that entered Innoventions was desperately looking for the exit!

Chuck said...

TM!, I think that's why they kept the floor rotating - to keep you disoriented so you couldn't escape.

Patrick, sadly, Disneyland hasn't always been consistent with their termite mitigation. That's how we lost Fort Wilderness to...that...monstrosity.

Chuck said...

TM!, also - thanks for the link to that video - and for having the foresight to shoot it in the first place.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, as of today I have doubled your pay as the official GDB architectural consultant! Now that you mention it, I don’t recall seeing any photos of ToonTown in it’s skeletal state.

TokyoMagic!, I recall that there were one or two potentially interesting things (including a tiny AA figure), but generally you couldn’t get near those. The rest was a snooze. I felt bad because the cast member was so nice, but we REALLY wanted to leave!

Chuck, did the floor still rotate?? I’d forgotten that completely, if so.

Chuck said...

Major, honestly, I never went in on the - maybe two? three? - visits I made when the place was open, but I have read that the floor rotated during the day through some point in 2013. In fact, I think the rotating floor was described in some concept material I saw before the attraction opened in '98.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the lower level did still revolve....and continuously. Of course it did that at a slower speed than when it was a theater. Personally I think it would have been a more interesting attraction if they had made it revolve at a faster speed. Heck, they should have made it just like "Spin Out" at Magic Mountain. At least it would have been more fun than what they put in there.

And that tiny AA figure was cool, but it was a part of the GM exhibit which had nothing to do with Disney. GM supplied their entire exhibit along with that virtual reality chair thing that everyone lined up for. The tiny AA figure was in the queue and I think his name was Sparky. The larger "Tom Morrow" AA figure downstairs was ugly and obnoxious, in my opinion. Having him sing "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" as guests entered the building was rather insulting and just pushed the knife in a little further!