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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » What Happened To Cool World's Fairs ?
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What Happened To Cool World's Fairs ?
EnchantedTikiGoth
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Posts: 30
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posted: 2004-06-21 6:05 pm   Permalink

I still have fond memories of Expo 86 in Vancouver... I was 9 when it struck, and my family took a cross-province trip to the coast to see it. Most of my memories are a bit incomplete (and our family photos don't help much since we apparently didn't have any real principle behind the camera's use... "here's a bush... an unimportant sign... a picture of our son in front of some wall..."), but it's more the impression of them that matters.

It probably left a greater impression that it ought, but I was small. I remember a very 1980's aesthetic sensibility... On one hand very colourful and utilitarian with exposed pipes and girders painted in bright primaries. On the other, it was very dark and avant garde, akin to Cirque du Soliel. Probably a lot of why I'm still into 80's style nowadays.

Some of my more vivid memories include the giant hockey puck and stick, the Canada Pavilion with it's flying UFO, the cedar forest outside the BC Pavilion, the giant undulating roadway sculpture with all sorts of vehicles painted mat grey, a giant room filled with multi-lingual Teddy Ruxpins (no really) and how my parents wouldn't let me use my souvenier money to buy a Sharkticon Transformer, saying that I could just buy it when we got home and then never actually doing so.

Calgary actually tried to get the 2005 Expo, but failed. I question how good of one we could have produced anyways. At least it would have had a nice ironic theme: our relationship with the land, in a city for which the oil industry is primary.

Cory


 
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-06-22 08:21 am   Permalink

My wife's grandmother had some cool pics from the Chicago World's Fair in the '30s including the Ford Rotunda which was very Space Age-like. I'll have to try to hunt them down.
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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-06-22 08:24 am   Permalink

heh heh... try to get people in 2004 to buy a car with the word "rotund" in it...

the chrysler chubb!
the kia zaftig!
the toyota plump-xs!
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-06-22 08:30 am   Permalink

Yeah, that would be some crazy name for a car! It was a large gear-shaped building that was later moved to Dearborn, Michigan to be used as Ford's showroom for new cars and any other presentations. It burned in the early '60s. The place where it stood is still just a field now.

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[ This Message was edited by: Sam Gambino on 2004-06-22 08:48 ]


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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-06-22 08:53 am   Permalink

oh, a thousand pardons... i thought there was a car called "ford rotunda," not there was a rotunda building for fords. silly mee...
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-06-22 08:55 am   Permalink

JD, I wasn't correcting you. I just didn't make myself clear in the first place - my fault. No harm intended.

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[ This Message was edited by: Sam Gambino on 2004-06-22 09:06 ]


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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-06-22 09:11 am   Permalink

you the man, sam g

 
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-06-22 09:14 am   Permalink

Thanks! Back atcha...
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1072
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2004-06-22 11:36 am   Permalink

I'd like to put in a word for Expo '67 in Montreal. I went with my dad towards the end of the fair in October -- not the best time to visit Montreal, weatherwise, but hey, it got me out of grade 6 for a week! And I got to see the country by train which was a blast.

Expo was a marvel of architecture, especially Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome for the American pavillion and Moshe Safdie's Habitat 67 -- a complex of modular living units that was hyped as the future of housing.

Another remarkable aspect of Expo '67 was the cutting edge (for that time) use of film and multi-media, with everyone trying to outdo each other with bizarre multi-screen presentations.

I recently found an Expo '67 guidebook in mint condition which brought back lots of memories and made me wish I'd been a little older at the time to appreciate it more (like my sister who was a teenager then. I think her fondest memories of Expo were the discotheques and the exotic French speaking boys).

I found this website that has photos and detailed descriptions of all the pavillions:
http://naid.sppsr.ucla.edu/expo67/

I also went to Expo '86 in Vancouver but there was no comparison. 1967 was Canada's Centennial year -- a huge "coming out" party for the country and a very exciting time to be a Canadian. I don't think that feeling has ever been the same since.



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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-06-22 11:45 am   Permalink

Ford also built a Rotunda building shaped like gears in San Diego in 1935 for an exhibition, which is still standing in Balboa Park and currently houses the Aerospace Museum:


Building history:
http://www.aerospacemuseum.org/exhibits/building.html

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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-06-22 11:46 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-06-22 11:45, thejab wrote:
Ford also built a gear-shaped Rotunda building in San Diego in 1935 for an exhibition, which is still standing in Balboa Park and currently houses the Aerospace Museum:


Building history:
http://www.aerospacemuseum.org/exhibits/building.html



 
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foamy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 590
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2004-06-22 12:11 pm   Permalink

My folks took me to the '64 NY World's Fair. We went by train – way fun. The only thing I really remember (aside from various structures and some guy knocking the french fies out of my hand) was GM's Futurerama. I was amazed. And still am. I've lost my souvenir postcards. Dammit!

I'm way ready to be amazed again. Who can do it?


 
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Sam Gambino
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 2199
From: www.samgambino.com
Posted: 2004-06-22 12:54 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-06-22 11:45, thejab wrote:
Ford also built a Rotunda building shaped like gears in San Diego in 1935 for an exhibition, which is still standing in Balboa Park and currently houses the Aerospace Museum:


Building history:
http://www.aerospacemuseum.org/exhibits/building.html



Thanks, thejab. I never knew there was another one.
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woofmutt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2605
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2004-11-08 09:59 am   Permalink

The New York Times November 5, 2004:

U.S. Rejoins World's Fairs...With a little help from its sponsors

By FRED A. BERNSTEIN

SINCE the end of the cold war, the United States has given world's fairs the cold shoulder. In 1992, when Spain marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage with a huge fair in Seville, the State Department erected a tentlike structure that it had in storage. In 2000, the U.S. sat out the Hannover, Germany, exposition, which 181 countries attended.


Now the United States wants back in the game. But because Congress banned federal financing of world's fairs in 1999, major corporations will be picking up the tab for the American pavilion at the first major expo of the 21st century, which opens next March in Aichi, Japan. Thom Filicia — the wisecracking interior designer on the hit TV show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" — will design the pavilion's V.I.P. suite, where sponsors like General Motors, ExxonMobil and DuPont will woo Japanese clients.


"The U.S. is a product I believe in," said Mr. Filicia in his NoHo studio. And with America's image suffering abroad, he added, "We could use a world's fair every month."


...Most of the fair's expected 15 million visitors won't see Mr. Filicia's (V.I.P. suite) handiwork.
Historically fairs provided architects a chance to experiment with materials and forms. Some structures, though intended to be temporary, have stood the test of time: the Eiffel Tower was created for the 1889 Paris Exposition; at the Montreal Expo in 1967, R. Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome wowed visitors to the American pavilion; the Space Needle in Seattle, a relic of the 1962 World's Fair, has become a landmark. In Hannover four years ago, architects including Peter Zumthor of Switzerland and Shigeru Ban of Japan created striking evocations of their countries.

Alfred Heller, the author of a 1999 book about world's fairs, called America's no-show in Hannover an embarrassment. Mr. Heller says that the government's ambivalence about world's fairs reflects a feeling that after the fall of the Soviet Union there was little need to burnish this country's image abroad.

When the Aichi fair was announced in 2000, the United States government did not sign on. But a private group — formed at the behest of Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of his family's Toyota Motor Corporation and now chairman of the Aichi fair — was formed to make sure there would be a American pavilion.


Full article:

http://www.fredbernstein.com/articles/display.asp?id=76

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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-11-08 1:11 pm   Permalink

I don't suppose anyone here has photos of the gift shop interior of Sinclair Dinoland at the 1964-65 World's Fair? I think I have almost everything sold in it, but would love to see how it was displayed.

In my previous hobby of collecting dinosaur and prehistoric animal toys and memorabilia, the World's Fairs were a particular favorite of mine. Aside from the copious amount of stuff cranked out by Sinclair's Dinolands at 1933-34's Century of Progress and the 1964-65 World's Fair, there was also a more obscure exhibit in 1933-34 called Messmore and Damon's The World a Million Years Ago.

I managed to correspond with Francis Messmore, son of the Messmore who worked on the exhibit, and purchased a few bits of memorabilia from it, including some hard rubber "dinosaur fighting dinosaur" dioramas that were on display there, and a perfectly awful Archeopteryx (first bird) made of paper mache over wire that was actually in the exhibit. I suppose they could get away with crude renditions of most of the animals because The World a Million Years Ago was an early ride-through ride, the animals were seen briefly and in dim lighting and people weren't running around with camcorders back then.

[ This Message was edited by: tikijackalope 2006-04-21 04:36 ]


 
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