Making News

The World's Fair Man
Forecast 70 Million
Will Visit The Fair
A month ago it was tentatively decided that running the 1964 World's Fair in New York would be such a big job that it would require four men to do it, instead of the one "dream man" the fair corporation had been hunting. Put in such terms, the problem suggested its own solution. If you were looking for a man who could do the work of four men, or a half dozen, there was only one, and that was Bob Moses. So Mr. Moses is apparently headed for the presidency of the fair.
The choice is, of course, ideal. No one else could have brought to this demanding task the experience, the driving energy, the contagious enthusiasm, the grasp of infinite detail essential to success. A man who has lived life like a spendthrift, never sparing himself in the public service, he brushes aside with impatience the fact that this new assignment will take him into his mid-seventies. After all, he's giving up four city jobs -- as Park Commissioner, member of the City Planning Commission, chairman of the Slum Clearance Committee, and Construction Coordinator. That leaves him with only his state park and power chairmanships, and director of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. He will be building Niagara power and the bridge to Staten Island.
Some time ago there was an ill-founded rumor that Mr. Moses was retiring. He called it "a lot of nonsense." It was indeed. Yet, as he appears to be leaving after all these years since 1934 the post of Park Commissioner, a word of appreciation for his accomplishments in that area must be said. "I am a park man," he once said. That he has been, to the everlasting benefit of the city's people.
So as president of the World's Fair, with its theme of "Peace Through Understanding," Robert Moses will write a climax -- but not necessarily a conclusion -- to a great career as a public servant. With him at the helm the fair has a guaranteed success.
A preliminary report on the 1964-65 World's Fair calling for integrating successful aspects of the 1939-40 World's Fair with "new concepts, forms and function" was given to Mayor Wagner yesterday by Robert Moses, who will head the fair corporation.
The report's recommendations urge a two-year rather than a one-year fair as a financial necessity, and widespread highway and parking field construction. The report also proposes extensive park restoration.
Transportation within the fair grounds on the 1939-40 pattern -- by bus, electric tractor trains, and motorized lounge chairs -- is suggested, Moses' consultants turned thumbs down on proposals for monorail, belt or combined hydrofoil boat-monorail trains.
The report estimated that at least 40 million persons would visit the fair in 1964 and 30 million in 1965, with an average of 220,000 daily visitors and a peak of 500,000 a day. The 1939-40 fair had 33 million visitors, of whom 26 million paid admissions and seven million entered on passes.
Expandable Stadium
At the old fair, 1,600,000 cars were parked. It was estimated that increased car ownership and expanded highways would bring the total in 1964 to three million.
Moses' report called for construction of seven parking fields with a total 20,000-car capacity. The report urged $95 million worth of arterial and highway enlargements and improvements.
Among these were widening of Grand Central Parkway, which goes through the fair site; widening of Northern Blvd. at the northwest end of the park; completion of the Long Island Expressway and a new extension of the Van Wyck Expressway that would cross northerly the the east end of the park.

Robert Moses
Wagner gets his report
Robert Moses

The study mentioned the expandable stadium, seating from 55,000 to 80,000 spectators, which would be built at the Willets Point parking field, between the fair grounds and the boat basin at Northern Blvd.

Opposition was expressed to the building of fair structures which later could be used as an international university or similar project.
Must Return to City
"Flushing Meadow is park property required for neighborhood recreation in a fast-growing community," the report said. "It is inalienable, and must by law be turned back to the city as a well-developed park at the termination of the fair. No permanent use can be permitted which is not in fact a park use."
With federal, state and city fair participation anticipated, the report called for buildings and exhibits of those governmental units reflecting their importance.
SOURCE: The New York Times, March 2, 1960
SOURCE: New York Daily News, April 18, 1960

Moses Previews '60 Fair


What's the New York World's Fair going to be like? Here's the inside from the man who knows -- Robert Moses, $100,000-a-year president of the World's Fair Corporation.
.....In an exclusive question-and-answer interview with N. Y. American reporter Sam Crowther, he tells the story.
Q. Mr. Moses, what will be the aims and purposes of the 1964-65 World's Fair?
A. I suppose you mean the theme, or what they call the theme. That is still in the planning stage. This, in the first instance, is in the hands of the Design Board headed by Wallace Harrison. But I can say that this will be a World's Fair with the most important products of the hands and minds of men throughout the world.
.....But if you're thinking of what is going to be emphasized, I assume it will be a combination of world industry -- world peace and, of course, the amusement section. You always have to have the amusement area.
Q. We're still three and a half years from the Fair. But from a general viewpoint, how would you say it will differ from fairs of the recent past?
A.You mean -- like Brussels? But ours, of course, will be bigger and better. There will be more people. And I might add that the problem of getting them in and out will be much greater.
'Couldn't Run 1-Year Fair'
Journal-American Photo by Bob Laird

Robert Moses
Q. What response have you had so far from other countries?
A. I assume that most of the countries to which we sent preliminary notices through the State Department will come in. We had some trouble with the Bureau of International Expositions in Paris which is supposed to fix dates and assign times for different fairs.
.....At first they said they weren't going to award any fair to the United States. The fellows in Paris were entertaining some other idea. But, then President Eisenhower appointed a committee to see where it would be in the United States. The committee decided on New York and that was it.
Q. How did you decide on a two-year fair?
A. That was one of the first questions that came up. We couldn't run a one-year fair. We couldn't raise the money to put it on. It would be absolutely impossible. So, it's going to be a two-year fair.
Q. Will emphasis be given the space age and the electronic era?
A. I don't say that will be the main theme, I'm not prepared to say what the main theme will be. But I can say that space and electronics will be emphasized.
Q. Now, Mr. Moses, has there ever been a World's Fair that made money?
A. I never heard of one.
Expects 40 Million
Visitors First Year
Q. Then, this is going to be different, isn't it?
A. Sure, why not? Some skeptics think that you can't make a fair solvent. I don't give a damn what they think. We can do it if we start out on this principle from the very beginning. A lot of people didn't think we could make good on financing the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority program, or the Power Authority projects on the St. Lawrence and Niagara but we did it anyhow by selling our bonds to thousands of prudent investors who believed in us.
Q. What do you anticipate in the way of attendance?
A. Whereas there is no way of accurately predicting the number of visitors, we have set a figure of 40,000,000 for the first year and 30,000,000 in the second.
Q. When do you expect construction to start?
A. As soon as we get financing. The first structure will be an administration building. It should be started shortly and be completed in November.

ALL IS FAIR . . . Robert Moses is a study in seriousness as he discusses the aims and purposes for the New York 1964-1965 World's Fair
Robert Moses
Q. What about staff?
A. The corporation's working force will be relatively small. As much work as possible will be farmed out to private contractors and competent outside people.
.....I would like to emphasize that those who anticipate the hiring of a large force of Fair employees, and would like to be numbered in this army, will find it futile to submit applications for jobs fortified by the usual letters from influential friends. We are not running that kind of show.
Q. Have you any idea what the basic admission will be?
A. I have -- but I'm not going to give it to you yet.
Financial Loss
Is Seen Unlikely
Q. What financial details are you prepared to discuss.
A. I can tell you now that this fair is not going to be run like New York's last one as far as financial planning is concerned. The last Fair was a very good show, but the fact is, that financially it was something we cannot repeat this time.
Q. Is that why you resigned from it's board?
A.One reason I resigned from the board -- after we had made the basic improvements -- was because I didn't understand the financial picture. Another was that I thought the city's Park Commissioner should not at the same time be on the fair board.
Q. Could you simplify as to the 1939 fair financing?
A. Bonds were sold to exhibitors. I suppose many people who bought the bonds knew they weren't going to get their money back and charged it to advertising and what-not. Many felt they got their money's worth, even though they got only 33 cents on the dollar in cash.
Q. Who felt this way for example?
A. General Motors -- bearing in mind their decision not to charge for entrance, decided their exhibit would sell more cars and so they took a loss on their bonds and spent a lot on the Futurama to build up good will. Who has the right to challenge that? But in any event, we couldn't do this now if we wanted to. We couldn't raise the amount of money that is needed today on this basis. We must raise money by selling bonds at a fairly high interest rate to investors who expect to get all their money back.
Q. How will you handle the problem of getting people around inside the fair? The use of go-carts in the last fair seemed like a pretty good one.
A. Within the fair grounds we will have those small east-side--west-side trains that they had before and other things of that sort -- but that is just a detail of the really important transportation problems.
Will Be Better
Q. Like what?
A. The basic transportation to and from the fair. For example the construction of new highway approaches to the site which would have been built anyway, but not completed for some time, have been speeded up to be finished in time for the opening. The Throggs Neck Bridge which parallels the Whitestone and doubles its capacity will be finished before the fair opens. The Long Island Railroad will put up another temporary station within the fair to service people from Brooklyn and Manhattan. The subways will not have extensions running into the amusement section this time, however.
Q. How come?
A. Because there will be a new highway in that right-of-way, the extension of Van Wyck Expressway. Buses will run from subway and railroad stations to the fair. Without these connections, you have nothing. You couldn't get crowds into the fair or out.
Q. What kind of cultural exhibits do you envisage?
A. We mustn't proceed on the theory that everyone is coming to the fair to be cultured, at least I don't believe so. Most of the cultural exhibits will be supplied by the various nations.
Q. Can you cite specific examples?
A. Let's consider the new countries in Africa. There are 10 of them now, five more on the way. By 1964 there will be close to 20. If native arts and crafts, native music and that kind of thing are considered cultural, I think they will supply a lot of it.
.....I don't know just where you draw the line. I suppose quite a lot of our American industry and business exhibits will be cultural in a broad sense, so will the federal, State and city exhibits.
Not Sure of Soviet
Role at Exhibit
Q. Will the fair have a "trade-mark" exhibit such as the Trylon and Perisphere or the Norman Bel Geddes General Motors' Futurama exhibit?
A. Certainly, there will be something of a theme center. As to Futurama, that was the most popular exhibit in the last fair and I presume General Motors will want to do something just as popular this time. But I don't know what yet.
Q. What about the participation of other large corporations?
A. Under our democratic process we will have to go to many big corporations, to the people and organizations that make things under our free enterprise system to parallel, equal or better what the Communists will do by government edict. That's where the Russians had a great advantage in planning their exhibit at the Brussels Fair.
Q. What about Russia's attitude toward participations?
A. I'm not in a position to tell you what Russia and its satellites will do since the summit business, I don't know but we'll find out soon.
Q. But you are optimistic about its overall success?
A. That should be pretty evident on the basis of what I've said . . . this will be a big fair, a good fair, a successful fair . . . a World's Fair in the truest global sense.
SOURCE: New York Journal-American, June 12, 1960

Mayor Asks Council to Enact Special Health
and Building Regulations
The Wagner Administration took another stride yesterday toward setting up the 1964-65 World's Fair as a glittering city within a city.
The administration introduced two measures in the City Council to give the fair its own building and health codes for the many temporary exhibits that will dot the Flushing Meadow Park fair site.
The special building code would be more flexible than the city's in some respects. For example, it would permit architects and builders to use more exotic and colorful designs than the city code permits.
It also would permit the use of such modern construction materials as structural aluminum and plastics, which the city's code prohibits. the code would further permit greater use of decorative materials such as copper and brass.
But the code would require the exhibits to meet the same high safety standards as other buildings in the city, according to Building Commissioner Peter J. Reidy, who played a key role in drafting this special code.
The proposed health code also would differ in some respects from the city's regular code; it would be much stricter.
For example, the World's Fair 1964-65 Corporation, which will operate the fair, will be empowered under the special health code to hire a special staff of inspectors to make daily inspections of eating places and other facilities. By contrast, the city Health Department, makes only spot checks of food-handling establishments.
The health code also calls for thorough physical examinations of anyone handling food, and certification that they are free of contagious disease.
The code requires drinking straws to be individually wrapped; prohibits the use of cloth bags for dispensing whipped cream, icing or other topping and forbids the sale of shellfish on open stands.
It requires, among other things, that different types of foods in a freezer by segregated; that meat grinders be used for only one kind of meat, and that a special World's Fair health officer be permitted to sample food or drink at any time, free of charge, for inspection and analysis. 
The city also will give the fair operators the right to establish their own police and fire-fighting forces.
Mayor Wagner also has asked the Council to establish a nine-member city commission to supervise the planning, construction and operation of the city's own exhibit at the fair.
SOURCE: The New York Times, August 31, 1960

30 Member Nations in Body
Are Told Not to Take Part
in Exposition Here
City Group Rejects 'Control
and Direction' -- Seattle
Fair in '62 Approved
Special to The New York Times.
PARIS, Nov. 18 -- In a blow aimed at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, thirty nations have been instructed by the International Bureau of Expositions not to take part in any fair in the United States in the next ten years except the Seattle Exhibition of 1962.
[In a statement issued here, sponsors of the New York fair rejected the "control and direction" of the Paris bureau, and declared that the fair would be held as planned, and that foreign Governments would participate despite the bureau's disapproval.]
The decision was taken by the board of the bureau, an intergovernmental organization, on Nov. 8. Representatives of the bureau said that the decision was binding on the members under a convention signed in 1928.
Organizers of the Seattle fair, who have set up an office in Paris, were jubilant. They said they believed that members of the bureau -- which include Canada, France, Britain, the Soviet Union, Austria and West Germany -- would be bound to abide by the decision. The United States is not a member of the organization. Private organizations and business are not included in the decision.
Room to Negotiate
Exposition specialists who have been watching the behind-the-scenes struggle said there might still be room for further negotiation between the New York World's Fair and the bureau.
The decision was a result of a sharp disagreement between the bureau and the directors of the New York World's Fair over the terms of the exhibition.
The bureau objected to the New York organization's plan to hold the fair for six months in both 1964 and 1965, and said that under the bureau's rules, only a total of six months could be allowed.
Members of the bureau also protested the intention of the New York fair to rent space to exhibiting nations for their pavilions. The bureau said that space should be provided free.
Among those signed up for the fair here are the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Italy, Mexico, Nationalist China and Vatican City. Most of the principal nations of the world and many lesser powers are expected to have exhibits at Flushing Meadow Park when the fair opens in the spring of 1964.
Dr. Charles M. Fonck, a New York investment banker who was director general of the Brussels World's Fair of 1935, expressed confidence yesterday that a "gentlemen's agreement" could be worked out to allow member nations of the bureau to participate in the New York fair.
Seattle Obeying Rules
Organizers of the Seattle exposition watched the dispute closely here.
Representatives of the Seattle fair said that they had gone out of their way to comply with the rules of the bureau. They said they were providing space rent free for national pavilions and were making contact with Governments throughout Europe and other parts of the world. The United States has committed $9,000,000 for a science and technology exhibit.
Officials of the New York fair also have visited Europe, for unsuccessful talks with members of the board of the international bureau, and to try to line up national exhibitors.
The bureau's decision does not specifically mention the New York fair. It gives approval to participation in the Seattle fair and calls attention to a provision in the international exhibition convention that prohibits participation in more than one fair of the same regional zone for a ten-year period.
U.S. Not a Member
Thomas J. Deegan, chairman of the executive committee of the New York World's Fair Corporation, said yesterday that the United States had never signed the Bureau of International Expositions Convention. It noted that the 1939-40 fair was held here, with many foreign nations participating, without the bureau's approval.
"We could not possibly obey directives of the B.I.E. and allow it to control a private, free-enterprise fair in New York," Mr. Deegan's statement said. "Its rules include a limitation of one year for the life of any fair.
"A one-year fair in New York is impossible. This was fully explained to the commission appointed by President Eisenhower to select a fair city in the United States. We stated the fair must continue two years to justify the huge investments, amounting to $700,000,000, to accommodate the numbers anticipated, and to provide sound financing. There are other rules we could not follow, such as giving away a huge amount of free space.
"Aside from the absurdity of operating a fair here under control from a bureau in Paris, there is no sentiment here at this time for joining treaty organizations of this sort."
Nevertheless, Mr. Deegan and others among the original sponsors of the fair had tired for a long time to win approval by the bureau.
SOURCE: The New York Times, November 19, 1960

SYMBOL OF 1964 WORLD'S FAIR -- Sketch of the Unisphere, a huge stainless steel globe, which will be erected at Flushing Meadow. It towers 135 feet and will occupy almost the precise site of the Trylon and Perisphere of 1939-40.


The Word for It Is 'Unisphere'

World's Fair Acquires a Symbol

By Ralph Chapman

Unisphere became a new word in the English language yesterday.
What it means is a huge, stainless steel globe to be erected as the symbol of the World's Fair scheduled to open about May 1, 1964, at Flushing Meadow. Theme of the Fair is "Peace Through Understanding."
Towering 135 feet, it will occupy almost the precise site of the Trylon and Perisphere which dominated New York's fair on the same park area in 1939-'40. This is behind and to the northeast of the New York City building, sole remaining structure from the earlier exposition.
All of the continents and major islands of the world be superimposed on the globe in the stainless steel mesh. Mountain chains will be pressed into exaggerated projection in order to give a realistic effect. National capitals will be pin-pointed by flashing lights behind lenses. At night, the Unisphere will be flood-lighted from a distance so that the continents will appear mysterious and in movement. The whole thing is only to be seen. There will be no way to enter the sphere.
Visitors had access to the inside of one of the two symbols of the last fair. The Perisphere contained a gallery from which thousands viewed, in the words of the official fair guide, "Democracity," a dramatic and splendidly executed vision of a city, co-ordinated and coherent in plan," in miniature.
The base of the other "theme" building, the Trylon, served as an entrance to the Perisphere.
THE OLD SYMBOL--The Trylon and Perisphere of 1939-'40
Trylon & Perisphere
Surrounding the globe, and some distance from it, there will be three elliptical "orbits." A light representing a satellite will move at high speed along each. The "satellites" will be of different sizes, move at different speeds, and travel in different directions.
Announcement of the symbol was made yesterday by Robert Moses, president of the fair corporation, and Roger M. Blough, chairman of the United States Steel Corp., at the company's offices, 71 Broadway. The globe will be a present to the fair from U.S. Steel and will remain as a permanent part of Flushing Meadow Park.
The globe will be fabricated at the company's American Bridge division plant in Ambridge, Pa., near Pittsburgh, and shipped to Flushing Meadow in sections.
Corporation executives said its estimated weight is 200 tons. They said they could not, this early, estimate its cost.
Investigation disclosed that its name was coined by Mr. Blough.
The Unisphere was described in a press release from the fair corporation as a "massive armillary sphere." That second word threw the press into confusion and there was no enlightenment from the fair's press agents.
Study of unabridged dictionaries revealed that the closet translation is "skeletal." In other words, the Unisphere will not be a solid mass, but will be made of steel strips with plenty of air space between them.
"Nothing Complicated"
Mr. Moses said that there is "nothing complicated about it" and then added that "frankly, I never understood the Trylon and Perisphere."
Mr. Blough recalled that "more than two decades ago, visitors to the last World's Fair held here in New York marveled at the Trylon and Perisphere which were erected by the engineers and workmen of our American Bridge Division."
Unisphere was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke of Clarke & Rapauno, landscape architects and consulting engineers. Mr. Clarke is a consultant in connection with plans for the fair.
Widest of the structural elements will be the equator. Somewhat narrower will be the strips representing the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Still others will form lines of longitude and latitude. they will be fixed to the sphere but appear to be independent of it. A light representing a satellite, will move speedily along each orbit at different speeds and in opposite directions.
Diameter of the sphere will be 120 feet and it will be set on a fifteen-foot base. The globe will be tilted 23 1/2 degrees from vertical because, one official said, this will permit a better view of the United States and "we're all interested in the United States, aren't we?"
12-Sided Pool
Unisphere's base will be in the center of a 12-sided pool. The pool and surrounding landscaping is to be done by the fair corporation. One suggestion under consideration is that sculptures at the twelve corners of the pool represent the signs of the zodiac. These too would be in stainless steel.
The concept is that vertical fountains will form a wall of water around the base of the sphere. Other fountains, at the edge of the pool, will arch inward. The fountains will be lighted from above and below.
"Unisphere illustrates, symbolizes and embodies," Mr. Moses said, "man's achievements on a shrinking globe in an expanding universe. It emphasizes the necessity of achieving peace through mutual understanding of all peoples."
SOURCE: Herald Tribune, February 15, 1961


Moses Starts 'Dirt Flying' to Shift Flushing Stream

Robert Moses dug the first ground yesterday in a nine-month project that will turn 1,900 feet of the Flushing River underground.
The river stands in the way of the 1964-65 World's Fair, of which Mr. Moses is president.
Part of this unglamorous watercourse will flow through twin subterranean culverts, 7 feet high and 10 feet wide, on the east side of the World's Fair site. Twelve acres of bog and shallow water will thus be converted into usable land.
This, the first permanent public improvement of Flushing Meadow Park, will cost $4,624,321.
Flushing River flows north. It will vanish underground near the Long Island Expressway, emerge at the pool that was called the Lagoon of Nations in
the 1939-40 World's Fair, disappear once more on the other side and then surface near the Long Island Rail Road tracks.
Moses Is Prophetic
What is now an elliptical pool will be enlarged 53,000 square feet to become a circular pond, 670 feet in diameter. A fountain may adorn the center.
Yesterday's noontime ceremonies were short and soggy. The morning's drenching rains slowed to a drizzle and then stopped moments before Mr. Moses addressed the crowd of about 100 persons.
"Pretty soon you'll see the dirt fly," he promised.
He spoke before a sign that read: "New York World's Fair, 992 days to opening day, April 22, 1964."
Tin-helmeted workers of the Slattery Contracting Company waited to begin work beside a bulldozer and a truck-mounted crane with a clamshell digging bucket. In all directions stretched swampy land dotted with trees.
The only sign of the last World's Fair more than twenty years ago was a pair of gigantic flagpoles across the Flushing River. They were topped by eagles of the Third Reich. The swastikas had been removed.
Morris Also Looks Ahead
Park Commissioner Newbold Morris followed Mr. Moses. He said the story of Flushing Meadow Park was "from dumps to glory." 
The Commissioner pointed out that "it cost $56,000,000 to prepare this site for the last fair." This time, he said, the City of New York will spend $24,000,000 during the next three years for permanent improvements in the park.
Mr. Morris said the fair corporation expects to repay this amount to the city, and turn over an additional estimated $29,000,000 in profits to be used for educational purposes.
The first steps in sending the Flushing River underground will be the draining of the old stream and, temporarily, the lagoon. Then sludge will be pumped out of the stream's bed. The twelve acres finally gained will be covered with 130,000 cubic yards of fill, then top soil will be laid on and landscaped.
Besides the World's Fair officials attending, Queens Borough President John T. Clancy, described by Mr. Moses as "the king of Queens," also appeared and spoke briefly in praise of the fair's president.
SOURCE: The New York Times, August 4, 1961

More Content