Staged to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, and drawing over 19 million visitors in only nine months, the Pan-Pacific International Expo rose like a literal jewel from the ashes of San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
A Century of Progress International Exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation. Its motto was "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms".
The 1939-40 New York World's Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was one of the largest world's fairs of all time. The fair ran for two seasons and over 44 million people attended.
The Golden Gate International Exposition was held in San Francisco, California to celebrate the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The exposition's first season ran from February 18, 1939 through October 29, 1939 and its second season was from May 25, 1940 through September 29, 1940.
The 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, located on the current site of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The fair ran for two seasons and took place without sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions.
Expo 67 was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It was considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating.
My recollection as to why it was slammed. Indeed, much criticism revolved around the 'airy fairy' factor. The critics felt that there was no substance to the exhibit. They didn't like the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They didn't like the feathery chiefs war bonnets that were strewn like ribbons. They didn't like the 5 story high Diebenkorn and the more abstract expressionist stuff. The critics felt it was all so frivolous and gave the wrong impression of America as a bunch of bubble-headed bleached blonds. (Well, they may not have written that but that was the implication). Buckminster Fuller's bubble was viewed as too ethereal and it implied that America did not display its true self. Never mind that the space program was given the most space!! and that the 5-6 story elevator dropped you off on the artificial moon landing! It was there you got to see the capsules, sit in an actual astronaut chair.Well, those are just a few reasons why it received such negative reviews. Well, it's late and I'll see if I can't add to what I've written. You pose a very important question and one that bothered us as guides. We knew that the publicity tended to de-construct the pavilion and that's why we kept our energy positive. We knew that this was much more than a bubble.
Oh, I will mention one more thing: Bucky's dome. It was a mess. Due to what the engineers believed were erratic weather patterns, very hot to very cold, the panels that were supposed to provide shade for the 'cage' interior were locked in place. Once spring warmed up, they tried to release them and to try and open and close the shades that were on each pentagon,hexagon and so forth but they could not get them to operate. They'd climb up the steel pipes almost every day and be up there trying to fix the panels...to no avail. When it would rain, we all got wet. We were finally given umbrellas to help us deal with the leaking birdcage. I know Bucky was upset with this and I don't know that it was a design problem per se. Oh well, that's it for now.