Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

April 13, 2014

Revisiting NYC's 1964 World's Fair, 50 years later

Some landmarks still remain in Queens for anniversary

(Continued)

"I think for many people, the fair represents this last moment of true optimism," said Melnick. "We were looking into the future, and the future was going to be bright. That really struck a chord with a lot of people."

THE UNISPHERE

The fair's best-known symbol, an elegant steel globe, has appeared in movies like "Men in Black" and "Iron Man 2." Visitors enjoy setting up photos so that they appear to be holding the world in their hands. Located in the park, outside the Queens Museum of Art.

NEW YORK STATE PAVILION

You can't miss the towers topped by flying saucers, surrounded by 100-foot-high (30-meter-high) concrete pillars. This was the New York State Pavilion, where visitors rode elevators to an observation deck above an enormous suspended roof of translucent colored tiles. Today the structure is padlocked, rusted and cracked, with preservationists and critics fighting over its future.

QUEENS MUSEUM

The museum is housed in a building that dates to the 1939 World's Fair, which marks its 75th anniversary this year. It also briefly housed the United Nations General Assembly after World War II. Exhibits include posters from both fairs and a replica of Michelangelo's "Pieta," which was shown in the Vatican Pavilion during the '64 fair.

The museum's most famous display, the "Panorama of the City of New York," is a scale model of the city that debuted at the '64 fair. The panorama includes models of each of the city's 895,000 buildings built before 1992, along with every street, park and bridge, on a scale of 1 to 1,200. The island of Manhattan is 70 feet long (21 meters), the Empire State building 15 inches tall (38 centimeters).

Opening April 27 is an exhibit of posters that pop artist Andy Warhol did for the '64 World's Fair, inspired by mug shots of the city's 13 most-wanted criminals from 1962. The posters were too controversial for the fair and were never shown.

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