The venture begun in 1962 to showcase American homefurnishings at the New York World's Fair ended in failure in 1965. Was it the pavilion's location at the far edge of the grounds that kept the crowds away? Did it appear that its exhibits would be little more than furniture showrooms? Were the spectacular exhibits of the nearby industrial giants too flashy to compete against?

At the close of the first season, the Pavilion of American Interiors was bankrupt. The World's Fair Corporation found themselves with a number of exhibitors who did not have the operating funds to reopen for the 1965 Season. Facing the prospect of a second season with huge pavilions like American Interiors shuttered and padlocked to the public, the Fair Corporation was forced to extend loans to these exhibitors to keep them afloat for the duration of the Fair. This increased the financial burden on the Fair Corporation, already struggling because of irresponsible financial practices and an attendance that did not bring in sufficient revenue to meet expenses (See Farewell to the Fair - "On Shaky Ground").

By the beginning of the 1965 Season, the Pavilion of American Interiors had been advanced $400,000.00 in loans. Its debt increased during 1965 by $50,000.00 when the Fair had to make payment, as guarantor, on a note executed by the exhibitor with the First National City Bank. The World's Fair Corporation evenutally wrote off a debt of $271,021.49 for American Interiors and spent an additional $42,000.00 to demolish the 4-story pavilion.

Pavilion of American Interiors - Night shot

Source: © Copyright 2002, Courtesy of Bradd Schiffman

Night view


webmaster's note... I'd like to thank Gary Holmes for the loan of the NY Times Advertising Supplment that featured the Pavilion of American Interiors and the "7000 Tomorrows" pamphlet as well. The Pavilion of American Interiors is unusual in that it is a huge pavilion at the Fair about which little is known. I hope you've enjoyed this Feature that sheds some light on what was inside those big round rotundas. I'd have liked to have visited that Moon Room!

September 12, 2002