Groundbreaking



The French Pavilion at the New York World's Fair will consist of three buildings of pure geometric design. A rectangular structure will house industrial exhibits, Maxim's famous Paris restaurant and a Moulin Rouge dining terrace. The second building, a pure white ellipse, will contain a 1500-seat theater where the original "Folies Bergere" will be presented. A towering pyramid will contain the Treasures of Versailles, an enormous collection of French paintings and art objects. The pavilion will feature a million dollar miniature reproduction of the City of Paris; specialty restaurants, and over 200 exhibits dealing with the life and products of France. The pavilion has been designed by Sidney L. Katz of Katz Waisman Weber Strauss-Blumenkranz. Contractor: Rand Construction Company. Cole Fischer and Rogow will serve as advertising and public relations representatives, and Bill Doll and Company will handle the national and international publicity campaign.
Groundbreaking Cover

SOURCE: Groundbreaking Brochure, The Pavilion of France

Following is a transcription of remarks made by French and World's Fair officials at the French Pavilion groundbreaking ceremonies, New York World's Fair, Tuesday, February 5, 1963.

AMBASSADOR RICHARD C. PATTERSON, JR. [Chief of Protocol]: Distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen. Today we are witnessing the groundbreaking for the French Pavilion, as you know -- the Pavilion of the Spirit of France. The first speaker is Mr. Allen Beach, director of our International Exhibits of the World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation. Mr. Beach.

ALLEN BEACH: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, M. Chevalier, Mr. Moses, Mr. Golff, Mr. Pierre, Miss Suzanne Bernard, who is Queen of the French Pavilion, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Governor Poletti, who is the vice president for International Affairs and Exhibits, is missing this ceremony by but one day. He returns late tomorrow from Italy where he has finalized the Italian participation in the Fair. I talked to him yesterday and he asked me to say this for him. "Please convey to Mr. Golff, president of the International Expositions, Inc. and his associates; and to Mrs. Mary Lasker and her fine advisory committee to the French Pavilion; and to M. Chevalier; my sincerest congratulations on their groundbreaking ceremony, as well as my personal thanks to all those who have made the French Pavilion possible at the Fair. You can all be assured of our fullest cooperation, and I am confident of your success."

To this I would like to add my own personal congratulations. We all know the problems that have been overcome in the tremendous effort that Mr. Golff and his advisors and associates have put into this project to bring it to this point. It was just four-and-a-half months ago that Mr. Golff came to our office and heard about our long efforts to secure French participation in the Fair. He came back with a plan. And we liked the plan, but we wanted to know more about Mr. Golff. So, a few days later we received letters from officials of several countries for whom Mr. Golff had organized exhibitions; also letters from officials from our own Department of Commerce, Department of State, from leading exhibition firms and other firms throughout the United States; all praising his work, talent and ability, and we were convinced.

Mr. Golff and his associates have taken on a challenging project. What they have accomplished in a few months is tremendous. They may be assured that they have the fullest support from all of us. Private industry and cultural organization of France are fortunate that a group like Mr. Golff and his team was available. Otherwise, France might not have been represented in this great international event in 1964 and 1965. Thank you.

AMBASSADOR PATTERSON.: Thank you, Mr. Beach. May I now introduce to you Mr. Leo J. M. Pierre, the World's Fair representative for the Chase Manhattan Bank. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the French Pavilion. Mr. Pierre.

LEO J. M. PIERRE: Thank you, sir. It is indeed a great pleasure to be here, and on such a glorious day, which shows that Mr. Moses knows how to arrange things. Unfortunately, thinking of France today, there are black clouds on the horizon, politically speaking, as we all know, but I hope, I trust -- I am quite sure that these clouds will disappear very quickly; the sky will be blue and sunny again, and French-American friendship will be as safe and secure as it has been through the centuries.

Displaying the World's Fair official medallion presented to them at French Pavilion groundbreaking ceremonies are honor guest Maurice Chevalier and French Pavilion Director Anthony B. Golff. For the Fair: President Robert Moses and Director of International Exhibits Allen Beach.

Chavalier, Golff, Moses, Beach
I regret the absence of Mrs. Lasker, who happens to be the chairman of the Advisory Committee for the French Pavilion at the Fair, and I believe I'm probably the only member of this committee present today. The Advisory Committee is comprised of a perfectly beautiful list of names, and we all feel that just because there have been certain difficulties in setting up this beautiful project, it will be very necessary not to make it just a list of distinguished names, but to create a real spirit of help and dedication and in the name of the Advisory Committee. For myself, I should like to say that we intend to be a working committee and that we pledge our support to Mr. Moses, to Mr. Golff, and to all the dedicated people who are trying to have the French flag flying at the World's Fair.

We all feel that it would have been absolutely impossible to conceive of such a large and important manifestation in New York without France being present. We shall do our best -- knowing that the 1939-1940 World's Fair saw a perfectly magnificent French Pavilion -- to have an even better one in 1964 and 1965.

Standing here at my right is a gentleman whom all of you know. Who couldn't? I have the great privilege of being a personal friend of M. Chevalier. He has become a part of the American entertainment world, and many of you may remember such magnificent movies as "The Love Parade" with M. Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, and "Gigi," and many others. In "The Love Parade" he was a dashing young man, and now, many years later, he is still very dashing in "Gigi."

In Paris, and throughout France in general, he's not Monsieur Chavalier, but simply Maurice. May I introduce Maurice Chevalier.

MAURICE CHEVALIER: I have not a speech ready to make in such an important circumstance. I only mean to say that I'm very proud that I've been asked to be here at the birth of the French Pavilion. I am sure that it will become something beautiful, as it has to be beautiful to be in harmony with what is going to be done all around this French Pavilion. All I can say is that I hope it will be as beautiful and as deep as the love and as the gratitude that I have for America, and I am sure that it will be so because it has to be so and it should be so definitely. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Thank you, our guest of honor. I should like now to present Mr. Anthony B. Golff, who holds a brilliant post in our coming World's Fair, as the director of the French Pavilion. Mr. Golff.

ANTHONY B. GOLFF: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, Maurice Chevalier, Mr. Moses. In the words of the "Marseillaise," the day of glory has arrived. We hope to build here one of the finest pavilions that has ever been built in any fair anywhere, as a tribute to France, as a demonstration of our gratitude to that great nation, and by way of presenting to the world the cultures, the products, and all of the fine things which emanate from France.

We invite you to join us in our efforts and we take this opportunity to invite all of French industry and commerce to participate in this great work. Thank you very much.

AMBASSADOR PATTERSON: Thank you, Mr. Golff. The next distinguished American whom I shall present, like Maurice Chevalier, needs no introduction. I give you the distinguished president of the New York World's Fair, the Honorable Robert Moses.

Suzanne Bernard swings ribbon-bedecked bottle of champagne to break it on a bull-dozer during groundbreaking ceremonies for the French Pavilion. Watching Suzanne, who is Miss French Pavilion, are Anthony B. Golff, president of International Exposition Corp., Allen Beach, director of International Exhibits, Robert Moses and Maurice Chavalier.

Champagne Launch

ROBERT MOSES: Dick Patterson, M. Chevalier, and friends. Allow me to express briefly the great pleasure of the officers of the Fair that this French Pavilion is to have an honored place in our demonstration of world progress. We rejoice that the French people will not be among the few conspicuous absentees but will join New York City, our American states and industries and the greater part of the globe in promoting peace through understanding.

The common market we offer at the Fair is one based on the old Olympic ideal of healthy rivalry far removed from all ideologies, the meeting of strong men regardless of border, breed and birth.

I shall sound no discordant notes here. As to the B.I.E. we are not, and never could have been, members. The New York Fair is not governmental, and our country could not join with the B.I.E. otherwise than by treaty approved by the Senate. Ours is a two, not a one-year Fair; it operates under a charter, rules and regulations entirely out of the B.I.E. jurisdiction. These facts have been certified and publicized over and over again. And the subject no longer constitutes news.

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One look about you at the multifarious activities at Flushing Meadow will tell you that we deal here with realities and the future -- not with cliches, old, unhappy far-off things or battles long ago. We recognize past glories and memories, but our faces are to the future.

We raise our voices at my Alma Mater, Yale University, to the Spirit of Youth, alive, unchanging, under whose feet the years are cast. Who but Maruice Chevalier, master of song and story, put over not with a leer, but with economy of gesture, charm and a glance of the eye, so perfectly illustrates, symbolizes and personifies this Spirit? He has that rare and precious combination of nostalgia and elan vital which is the quintessence of France.

Again, welcome to the greatest show of our times, and thanks again for coming to the groundbreaking.


A Little Bit of Advertising

A box of matches advertises the Pavilion of France

Advertising Matches

Source: eBay Auction

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