World's Fair Information Manual

Better Living Center
Mr. Edward H. Burdick, President
Edward H. Burdick Assocs., Inc.
104 East 40th Street
New York 16, New York
TN 7-3180
Miss Phyllis Adams
Mr. Jerome Gillman
Robert S. Taplinger Assocs.
415 Madison Avenue
New York 17, New York
PL 2-7722
March 9, 1961
Block 12; Lot 1
Industrial Area
81,876 sq. ft.
John Lo Pinto Assocs.
50 East 42nd Street
New York 17, New York
YU 6-2915
Construction Company
Better Living Center Line Drawing

SOURCE: 1964 World's Fair Information Manual

The Better Living Center is a showcase for companies whose products and services contribute to a better and fuller life in six major areas: fashion, food, health, home, family security and leisure.
Exterior: The Better Living Center is the largest multiple-exhibitor pavilion at the Fair. It is an 80-foot high hexagon-shaped structure enclosing a quarter million square feet of air-conditioned space, making it the largest exhibit building in the Fair's Industrial section. A major identifying feature of the building is the glass-clad observation-elevator tower adjacent to the structure. Two high-speed glass elevators take visitors to the rooftop, giving them a panoramic view of the entire Fair grounds from the 16-sided regular polygon glass tower. The unique "from top down" traffic flow assures each exhibitor maximum exposure. One-way escalators and the two glass elevators provide access to the top floor.
Interior: Women's Headquarters: The official center of all women's activities at the Fair is located on the penthouse floor of the pavilion. The Women's Advisory Council has its headquarters and hospitality center here. The interior design was executed by William H. Pahlmann in the style of colonial Williamsburg.
Also located on the rooftop is the International Cafe operated by the Hilton Hotels Corporation, serving the most unusual dishes of all the countries in which Hilton International operates. Hilton chefs are brought to the Fair to supervise the preparation of their ethnic specialties. The Marco Polo Club also operated by Hilton, is the private club for Better Living Center exhibitors and their guests. Its decor duplicates that of the famous Marco Polo Club at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Adjacent to both the Women's Headquarters and the International Cafe is an art gallery devoted to American art. In addition, selections form the collection of Vincent Price are placed at various points throughout the Better Living Center. In conjunction with the exhibits, a series of art lectures is scheduled.

Located on the second floor, the Crystal Palace of Fashion is a major fashion presentation facility at the Fair. This showcase schedule daily fashion shows for the entire run of the Fair. The first show, beginning on the Fair's Opening Day and to run for 30 days, is presented by Lord & Taylor. Subsequent shows are to be staged by editors of such leading publications as Glamour, Seventeen, Look, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping and Harper's Bazaar. The stage of the Crystal Palace is a series of elevated platforms suspended over a reflecting pool. Rising in amphitheater fashion from stage level is a series of 43 exhibit kiosks where wearing apparel, accessories and cosmetics are shown.

The main feature of the Center is a fully-furnished, seven-room home designed and decorated by Dorothy Draper. The $55,000 home features appliances, fabrics and materials that will soon become generally available. Some of the upholstery, drapery and flooring materials have been specifically designed for the Dream Home.

The Gallery of Better Living Kitchens is a group of 8 kitchens, varying in style from traditional to contemporary, reflecting the latest trends in kitchen design and layout.

"Food from Farm to Table" is the theme of a group of exhibits depicting products and services of food manufacturers and processors, arranged to simulate a supermarket. The core of the exhibit is a 40-foot glass-walled truck trailer containing a 90-day supply of food for an average American family.

Radio Station WTFM, the only full-time FM stereo station in the New York metropolitan area, has its World's Fair studios located in the Better Living Center.

Shick presents a panoramic history of shaving, featuring some of the unusual implements men have used through the ages to remove their whiskers. Included is a facsimile of one of the first razors known, made from obsidian, a volcanic glass which dates back nearly 5,000 years.

The National Industries for the Blind has four separate exhibit areas, occupying 500 square feet. The visitors first view an illuminated map showing the key cities throughout the nation where workshops are located. A visitor may push a button, pick up an earphone and listen to a description of the workshop and agency facilities available in the selected area. The visitor moves on to view an enclosed work area where blind workers will demonstrate their skills. The workers are visible at first, slowly fade to absolute blackness and brighten again -- to simulate visual handicaps. The next area displays the range of Skilcraft products and provides a place for distribution of order forms.

"All About Elsie" is a musical revue, repeated each quarter hour, starring Elsie the Cow -- with songs, dance and dialogue by a supporting cast of electronically controlled and animated characters. The revue is produced by Alfred Stern with the script written by Joel Oliansky. The music and lyrics were composed by Kay Swift.

Better Living Center

Source: NY World's Fair Publication For Those Who Produced the New York World's Fair 1964-1965

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