Do you remember the Unisphere, Belgian waffles, and the ochestrated dancing fountains?

The 1964 World's Fair was held in Flushing, New York, on Long Island. Only a few remnants remain, including the New York State and Port Authority buildings, and the Unisphere sculpture, left, symbol of the fair. The other exhibits, all built to building codes for permanent structures, were torn down after the two year run of the fair. The cost to build the Fair was so high that more recent expositions have trimmed their scope, and it is not likely so ambitious a fair will be done for decades.

I took the pictures on this site as a teenager.  I was a photo enthusiast, and Kodak's new High Speed Ektachrome (ASA 160) together with an f1.8 camera lens made photography at night without a tripod possible. Just barely ... sometimes. Years later, when PhotoCDs became available, I transfered the photos to the digital format.  The originals had faded by that time, but there was enough color left to allow a fair job of restoration.

With so many visitors, it is surprising how difficult it is to locate photos of the Fair.  The brochures for the exhibits were prepared before the Fair opened and, I assume because the exhibits were not then complete, they almost always include sketches rather than photographs.  There are so many drawings and so few photos, one may wonder if the whole thing actually came into being.  It did.

I didn't realize it at the time, but the 1964 World's Fair was a celebration by the world of a return to normalcy after the Great Depression and World War II.  Perhaps it is well that we have had no tragedies so great, and so no cause for such celebration at having survived.

The spirit of the Fair was echoed in Disney's EPCOT theme park, which featured design elements like the use of water and moving fountains, high tech "dark rides" with educational entertainment themes, and multi-cultural international exhibits. Walt Disney's vision of EPCOT is now fading as thrill rides and children's attractions are displacing the original themes. However, last we checked the "It's a Small World" ride from the Fair lives on at EPCOT. It's repetitive music delights some and verges on cruelty for others. That's just the way it was in 1964. Visitors to EPCOT will see exhibits that are more modern (one of the attractions in the '64 Fair was color television on a rectangular--rather than round--screen), but the New York Fair was distinguished by its size and amazing ambition.

Continue to see the Fair at night, walking around, the auto company exhibits, and more. 

If you have photos or other materials from the NY Fair, please let me know.  I may want to get copies. Comments and suggestions are also welcome. Contact me at roylatham <put the AT sign here>