Saturday, April 28, 2018

1964 New York World's Fair construction pix

I was lucky enough to acquire some fun construction photos from the 1964 New York World's Fair. Who doesn't love a good construction pic? 

All of these are date-stamped "March, 1964"; and while we all know that they could have been taken weeks or months before that, I have the feeling that they are from around that date. The Fair opened on April 22, 1964, so the place must have been a beehive of activity in the final push to get everything ready.

First up is this neat photo, taken (I believe) along the "Avenue of Enterprise", and showing luminaires aplenty, in interesting hues of green, yellow-green, and white. Obviously construction workers could just drive onto the site and park their cars, which is pretty cool. The building in front of us is the "Pavilion of American Interiors". 

The souvenir guidebook tells us: The world of home furnishings is on display in this circular, four-story building with two turretlike wings. More than 120 manufacturers and a number of interior designers are represented in exhibits dealing with everything that goes into a house: furniture, fabrics, floor coverings, paints, tableware, decorations and lighting. Among the features are 14 integrated room settings, each of which reflects a distinctive way of life in a different region of the United States. Other exhibits feature unusual uses of wood, displays of crafts, and showings of award-wining furniture design. There is a restaurant.

Here's a photo from my blog, showing the pavilion in its finished state. Unfortunately it was not popular, and did not return for the 1965 season.

Next up is this photo of the Mormon Church pavilion, with its stylized representation of the temple in Salt Lake City. Judging from the amount of photos taken, it was surprisingly popular (as were some of the other religious pavilions, such as the one for the Vatican). Is that a little tree on the topmost spire? It would be replaced by a golden statue of the Angel Moroni. (Luminaire alert #2, this time, in red, white, and blue).

You may recall this photo from GDB, posted not too long ago.

The "Festival of Gas" was an impressive winged structure, beneath which was a restaurant, displays, and... A giant elevated carousel (which) carries visitors on a tour of the World of Gas, from the gaslit streets of yesteryear to a futuristic City of Tomorrow. The carousel is visible here. Notice the worker up in one of the round carousel vehicles. Work faster guys, you only have a few weeks left!

And here is a photo from my collection showing the Festival of Gas building as it looked in 1965.

There are more construction photos from the 1964 World's Fair, so I hope you liked these!


Nanook said...


These fair images make me far too giddy for car ID-ing-! Every city needs a 'Festival of Gas'.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The Pavilion of American Interiors looks like the world's largest Rotor ride. A real spin-and-puke with a belly full of food and cocktails.

The Mormon Church Pavilion looks like you could easily topple it over with a good push.

And, I could've helped them out with the Festival of Gas pavilion if they only pointed me to the nearest burrito stand.

Nice NYWF pics today! Thanks, Major.

Patrick Devlin said...

The third shot with the Temple replica and the tree on the top indicates that the workers have held the "topping out" ceremony: when the highest structural member is emplaced on a building it's traditional to place a small tree on top.

Watch for it soon on a new building near you!

Melissa said...

Those are pretty blue skies for March (or earlier) in New York!

Must’ve been reeeally good eats if all they could come up with to say about it was, “There is a restaurant.” It was probably better than the restaurant at the Festival of Gas, though.

It's a shame the Pavilion of American Interiors wasn't more popular. I wonder if they changed the display rooms periodically, or if they just left them as-is and people got tired of looking at the same old decor?

Thanks for digging up the finished pictures for comparison!

dennis said...

I remember seeing a lot of attractions at the Fair, but I don't recall the "Oregon Timber Carnival."
Great pictures as always, Major. Dennis, Levittown, LI, NY

JC Shannon said...

I was 10 when we attended the fair. I remember the Ford Pavillion, a pearl diving exhibit, but not the Festival of Gas. I do remember the Bell Telephone exhibit that had a Visiphone connected to Disneyland, and a push button phone we all drooled over. But mostly I remember the Heliport, even then I had the aviation bug. I saw myself soaring over Queens and landing on the roof of our hotel in Manhattan. Thanks Major.

dean finder said...

Here's the description of the restaurant
sounds much fancier than the banner would indicate

dean finder said...

Also, it seems like the "ride vehicles" at the Festival of Gas carried appliances, and people stood on a moving platform

Chuck said...

I remember my dad cracking some sort of joke about the Gas Energy Pavilion at the 1982 World's Fair. He would have had a field day with the Festival of Gas (in fact - he probably did, since he and my mom attended the '64 Fair).

Thanks for more of '64, Major!

Anonymous said...

Came for the gas jokes, leaving now to open a window.