- The World's Fair Man
Forecast 70 Million
Will Visit The
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Wagner gets his report
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
- 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
- .....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.
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
- 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
- Q. What response have you had so far from
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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.
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
- A. I have -- but I'm not going to give it
to you yet.
Is Seen Unlikely
- Q. What financial details are you prepared
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
2 CODES DRAFTED FOR WORLD'S FAIR
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
- 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
- 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
'64 FAIR OPPOSED BY WORLD GROUP
30 Member Nations
Are Told Not to Take
in Exposition Here
EXHIBITION WILL GO
City Group Rejects 'Control
and Direction' -- Seattle
Fair in '62 Approved
By A. M.
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 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
- 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
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
- "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
- 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,"
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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?"
- 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
BURYING OF RIVER BEGUN FOR '64
Moses Starts 'Dirt Flying' to Shift Flushing
By NAN ROBERTSON
- Robert Moses dug the first ground yesterday
in a nine-month project that will turn 1,900 feet of the Flushing
- 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 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
- 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