The Texaco Map


Source: New York State Education Magazine, June 1964

 The World's Largest Map

at the
World's Largest Fair

A TRUE SCALE MODEL of the New York State Pavilion at the World's Fair gives an accurate impression of how much of the main floor area is covered by the giant map. The brightly colored road guide is constructed of polished terrazzo and weighs 114 tons.

Visitors to the New York State Pavilion of the World's Fair will be able to make pedestrian highway tours of the Empire State on a giant (130 feet by 166 feet) terrazzo replica of Texaco's road map.

The main floor of the host State's pavilion shows every major road, community, river and lake in the same style as the folded maps that are found in the family car. The familiar red, green and blue markings are all depicted in perfect scale on a beige background.

Constructed of 567 gleaming 16-foot squares, the mammoth map weighs 114 tons and is one of the most extensive terrazzo projects ever undertaken. According to Rand McNally and Company, it is the largest known representation of any 50,000 square mile area of the earth's surface.

THE LONG TASK of designing, building and installing the huge step-on map began in mid-1963. To provide patterns, sections of the Texaco map, each measuring 3/4 of an inch square, were magnified 64 times and electrically projected on 4-foot-square paper templates tacked to a wall. A team of Yale University Art School students then traced every map-marking onto the templates.

From these completed templates plywood pattern boxes were built and taken to a tile factory where the tinted terrazzo mix of cement and marble chips was poured in. Color pigments were added to the mixture to depict land areas, rivers and lakes, and highways. Plastic strips were inlaid to duplicate words and symbols and, after the mixture had hardened, each panel was mechanically polished to a mirror finish.

 

FAR ABOVE Cayuga's waters a tourist has one foot in the lake without getting the sole of his shoe wet. World's Fair visitors can walk the length and breadth of the Empire State in a matter of minutes, selecting the best routes to take and sights to see.

UPON DELIVERY at the New York State Pavilion, the 567 panels were placed on individual beds of sand and concrete reinforced with steel mesh. Special suction-cup lifts were used to move each 400-pound panel into its position in the huge mosaic.

The scale of the map is so large that even local landmarks could be recognized if they were placed on it.

Children who have read "Gulliver's Travels" may be reminded of Lilliput. A youngster four feet tall who stands on the map would find that, according to the map's scale, his height would be over 50,000 Lilliputian feet.

# # #

Roadmap cover

Texaco Road Map of New York Featuring the NYS Pavilion:

See the World's Largest Road Map

A featured attraction at the New York State Pavilion is this giant Texaco road map of New York State. You can walk over the terrazzo map; "explore" highways and byways of the Empire State. (It's over half the size of a football field.) 

Overview of Texaco Roadmap

Yesterday

Source: Texaco 1965 New York State Roadmap

 

Weeds grow throughout

Today

Source: © Copyright 2000, BBQ Productions

 

The Texaco map at the NYS Pavilion is not sinking or ground causing it to crack up. The problem lies on how the map was installed:

  1. Underneath the terrazzo floor is plywood
  2. Underneath the plywood is sand
  3. With the floor not properly sealed, water has gotten underneath it causing the plywood to warp, thereby making the map crack

The several "concrete patches" were added throughout the years by the Parks Department (and others). The terrazzo is about 2 inches thick and is very heavy to move.

Charles Aybar
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
August 7, 2000

 

Broken up map today

Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Rod Smith

 

Yesterday

Source: National Geographic Magazine, April 1965, Vol. 127 No. 4 

 

Faded Texaco logo in terazzo  

Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Rod Smith

 

Weeds grow up through broken terazzo 

(Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Rod Smith

 

In 1970, the Texaco Map of NY State was to be removed and restored at the World Trade Center in Manhattan (the floor rests on sand which is overlaid with plywood). Many groups opposed this, and the map remained. David Oats himself launched a campaign to preserve the floor and opposed a roller rink there. But, Park's Dept. Chief "Heckshaw" wanted revenue and someone to maintain this building so pushed the roller rink ahead

Charles Aybar
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
July 18, 2000

 

Broken map

Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Rod Smith

 

 Broken map today

Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Rod Smith

Weeds grow throughout the Map 

Today

Source: Personal Collection, Copyright 2000, Elizabeth Klug

 

A call today to the "Director of Public Relations," Mr. John Feeley, at the NYC Park's Dept., Flushing Meadows Park, confirmed ... that the map has not been removed at the NYS Pavilion. Mr. Feeley told me that the map has been vandalized over the years. The map has severely broken up into small parts and weeds grow throughout it. He also stated that unless you were looking directly down at the map, it would appear from the outside view that the map was not there.

Charles Aybar
Posting to nywf64.com Message Board
June 21, 2000 

 

View of map today from towers 

Today

Source: © Copyright 2000, BBQ Productions

 

More Content