Groundbreaking


The General Cigar Pavilion, directly across the street from the Solar Fountain and Pool, is a rectilinear building amid a generously landscaped area. The architect is Cecil A. Alexander, F.A.I.A., of Atlanta, Georgia.
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SOURCE: Groundbreaking Brochure, The General Cigar Company

Excerpts from transcription of remarks made by General Cigar and World's Fair officials at the groundbreaking ceremonies, New York World's Fair, Monday, May 13, 1963.

MR. STUART CONSTABLE [Vice President, Operations]: Mr. Cullman, Mr. Strauss and members of the General Cigar Co., Inc. It is my pleasure to preside at what will be one of the most extraordinary groundbreakings to take place on the Fair site. The General Cigar Company is the only tobacco company represented here so far, and we are delighted to have you. I should like to present a New York World's Fair medallion to Mr. Edgar M. Cullman, president of the General Cigar Company, and to Mr. Julious Strauss, chairman of the board.

Now Mr. Cullman will speak to us and will introduce something in the way of groundbreaking which, I understand, will really astound all of us.

Stuart Constable, vice president in charge of Operations at the Fair, presenting the Fair's medallion to Mr. Edgar M. Cullman, president of General Cigar Co., Inc.
Stuart Constable, Edward Cullman
MR. EDGAR M. CULLMAN [President of the General Cigar Co., Inc.]: Thank you, Mr. Constable, ladies and gentlemen. You know, usually when you come out to a place where there's dirt, grass, trees, you think about going to a funeral. Looking around here, I don't know exactly what I'm out here for. I presume it's to dedicate our exhibit -- which is not going to be a funeral.

We of General Cigar appreciate very much your coming out here to share with us our pride in breaking ground for what we think will be one of the most entertaining and interesting exhibits of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. At the same time we believe our pavilion will be one of the most peaceful, complementing in every way the Solar Fountain and Pool that will be just across the road -- a garden and patio will occupy a sizable portion of this site, which totals approximately 15,000 square feet. There will be plenty of benches around the grounds and two maple trees will remain on the site, to beautify and add some shade. There will be nothing startling about the appearance of the building, but it will be simple, dignified and serene, quite in keeping with the restful character of the surrounding landscaping and the Solar Fountain.

If our building and grounds accomplish their purpose we'll make a worthwhile contribution to the pleasure and peace of the millions of World's Fair visitors expected a year from now. But there is more, much more to the General Cigar Pavilion. I ask you to use your imagination in visualizing the interior, because I assure you that when you see it completed next year, your imagination again will be tested, in many unexpected ways.

We are going to have a magic show, conceived by one of the most creative magicians in the country, Mark Wilson. Many of you know him as the presiding genie on the "Magic Land of Allakazam" television show. It I told you much more than this about Mark's magic show he would probably make me disappear in a puff of cigar smoke, because he and everybody connected with it are keeping the details of this remarkable show completely secret until the Fair opens. There will be magic surrounding General Cigar, but I am not at liberty to reveal anything more.

While magic will be the highlight of the General Cigar Pavilion, there will be many other striking things in this building: a variety of unusual displays will tell the story of the accomplishment of the cigar industry and our company. In the main section of the pavilion there'll be an international bazaar at which World's Fair shoppers will be able to purchase exotic and unusual specialty merchandise from all over the world.

Actress Penny Edwards (Miss Tiparillo) "floats" over the site of the General Cigar Pavilion at the Fair as General Cigar President Edgar M. Cullman turns the first shovelful of earth at the groundbreaking ceremonies. Assisting is magician Mark Wilson, producer of the magic show which will be featured in the pavilion.
Mark Willson, Penny Edwards, Edgar Cullman

 

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