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Craig Bavaro

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About Craig Bavaro

  • Rank
    Century 21 Exposition
  • Birthday February 6

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  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests
    Everything NYWF 64-65

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  1. Dr. King

    Well said Jim. Thank you for sharing your memories of that tragic day.
  2. Sorry guys for the late responses, but sometimes life has a way of intervening in ones hobbies when you have a full time job. Ok, here goes. 1. My pleasure Jim. 2. Your welcome Irv. To answer your first question, the Fair Corporations engineering staff kept a pretty close eye on things during the demolition phase as evidenced by the extensive records they maintained. There are at least 16 boxes of engineering demolition files in the Fair Corporations records at the New York Public Library that document that the engineering staff was very busy during this period issuing permits and performing inspections at each site before releasing the demolition contractors and exhibitors from any future liability. While it is true that money was tight, it’s also a well-known fact that Robert Moses was very focused on restoring and completing the park. So much so, that he diverted millions of dollars from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (which he ran at the time) to ensure completion of the park. You also have to bear in mind that Moses executives and their key staff members had worked for him in other capacities for many years prior to the fair. As such, they were well versed in these types of large scale projects and knew very well what the boss expected if they wanted to work for him on future projects. In the case of the large industrial and transportation exhibitors, they were fully on the hook for removal of their pavilions and it appears from the records that for the most part all of them performed according to their contracts. To answer your second question, everything above four feet had to be completely removed. Anything below four feet had to be broken up as specified in the rules. That’s not to say that some exceptions may have been made. The only way to know for sure in the case of the monorail tower footings would be to review the demolition file and permits for that exhibitor. Randy is correct. If they didn’t strictly enforce the rules and regulations as it pertained to the demolition below ground, the park would have become a flooded mess in later years. 3. Sorry to have kept you waiting icedstitch. Do you really think a troll would have written such a long and detailed response….lol. Hopefully the above response will rekindle your enthusiasm for this topic. 4. Sorry Steve. I got busy and I forgot all about this post for a while. The good news is that I’m really a creature of habit. For the last 17 plus years since I joined PTU, I never hit the notify me button because I always come back when time permits and read all of the new items about the 64-65 NYWF, the 62 Seattle Fair and 67 Montreal Expo. I think I’m all caught up now. Please do let me know if I missed anyone or you have any additional questions.
  3. Let me address how demolition of this and most of the other large industrial exhibits would have gone. 1) Prior to the close of the fair, a select number of demolition firms with extensive experience demolishing building of this size would have toured the building with representatives of the exhibitors facilities people to determine what the exhibitor would not be removing prior to turning the building over to the demolition contractor. They would also review the construction plans and specs to determine any unusual challenges to the demolition and obtain figures for recoverable materials such as air conditioning equipment, lighting fixtures, pipes, wiring, steel, etc. 2) The exhibitor would receive each contractor's bids and typically sign a contract based on the lowest bid. The contract would be net of the recoverable materials value, which would become the property of the demolition contractor unless specifically excluded from the contract. 3) After the fair closed, the exhibitor would remove all of the items they excluded from the demolition contract. For example, they may have decided to reuse the office furniture, sell it on their own, or donate it. In the case of the GM pavilion, someone reported that GM removed their automobiles and trucks from the pavilion and simply turned building and the rest of its contents over to the demolition contractor. 4) Once the demolition contractor took possession of the building, then it was theirs to do with as they wished provided they cleared the entire site in compliance with the Rules and Regulations of the Fair Corporation. 5) The demolition contractor would then methodically proceed to strip the interior of the building of everything salvageable that was not nailed down before they proceeded to strip the building of everything that was nailed down, since their bid was based on being able to recover and sell as much of these materials as possible. In the case of the GM pavilion, someone reported that the models were broken up and thrown out by the demolition contractor (although some small pieces of the model have surfaced over the years). During this part of the demolition, the interior of the building would have been kept clean for safety reasons or the management of the contractor would hear from the union reps that unsafe conditions existed on the job site. If safety violations were not promptly corrected the job could be shutdown. 6) Materials that could not be recovered would be demolished and carted away. This would include carpeting, ceramic tiles, sheetrock walls, etc. that couldn't be removed without damaging it or was simply worn out because it showed the wear of millions of guests having used it. 7) Once the interior was stripped bare of all of the fixtures, ceilings, walls and floors, then the really heavy work of dismantling the steel super structure would begin until they reached the ground and basement levels of the site. 8) Once the super structure was removed, then the Fair Corporation rules required that the floor of the cellar be broken up provided it was more than 4 feet below finished grade. Per the attached page from the Fair Corporations Rules & Regulations, Demolition of Structures and Buildings section, they were very specific as to what was acceptable fill for the site. If these requirements were not followed, the Fair Corps. engineering staff would cite the contractor. If they still didn't comply, the Fair Corporations counsel would have contacted the exhibitor to complain since the demolition contract between the exhibitor and the demolition contractor certainly would have covered such a situation. If this didn't resolve the matter, then the Fair Corp. could have filed a claim against the performance bond posted with them. If none of these actions were successful, then the Fair Corporation would have the option to sue the various parties (which we know for a fact was why the Fair Corporations business wasn't wound up until early 1972). 9) From a practical sense, the basement could simply not have been left intact and filled with debris. If it had, then in the intervening years after the demolition was completed the site would have filled up with water (basically becoming a very large swimming pool filled with debris and dirt) and turned the site into a swamp as the more porous items decomposed after being submerged for such a long period of time. Demo Rules and Regs.doc
  4. A different angle of a General Foods Arch

    Thanks for the info Bill.
  5. Seen on the closing day of the Fair

    The story of this exhibitor is actually quite interesting. The Fair Corporation assumed control of this property early in the 64 season and incorporated a new company that was staffed by Fair officials that were charged with finishing the building, finding exhibitors and running the operation for the duration of the fair.
  6. The End of New Jersey

    A demolition status report dated 4/20/66 states that the New Jersey pavilion demolition work was complete if that helps.
  7. A different angle of a General Foods Arch

    We had a mimosa on our property when I was a kid on Long Island in the 70's and I loved that tree. I remember that the leaves would fold up each night as it got dark outside and then reopen the next morning. I didn't know that they had died off. I also recall that my Grandfather transplanted a sapling from the tree at my great grandparents home in West Palm Beach, Florida around that time. In later years, this tree grew to gargantuan proportions due to the extended growing seasons in Florida and the tree ended up towering over the small single story house! The seed pods were huge.
  8. Speaking of dimming the lights for the nightly fountain and fireworks show, the Fair Corporation had a lot of trouble getting the exhibitors around the Fountain of the Planets to dim their outdoor lights each night for the show. This was one of Robert Moses major pet peeves, second only to his hatred of the Parker Bakery neon sign debacle. If I recall correctly, they even considered having the outdoor light circuits at each pavilion that ringed the fountain rewired to allow the Fair Corporation to control them, but they ended up abandoning that idea because of the cost. Moses instead resorted to having his staff verbally beat them all into submission with a flurry of phone calls and letters.
  9. Sad news - we lost a long-time member

    I'm saddened to hear of his passing and my condolences go out to his family and friends.
  10. One of the most boring things at the Fair?

    Not very private, is it? And where is the water closet?
  11. A different angle on Coca-Cola

    If I recall correctly, the reason Coca Cola changed their fountain like that was because New York was experiencing a drought in the summer of 65 and the city mandated conservation measures throughout the metropolitan area.
  12. Randy, the documents did not mention a presidents name. Jim, I'm certainly not disputing what Hoodlock said back then or the accuracy of his statements. The source of my information is the actual Fair Corporation records that I either reviewed at the New York Public Library or that I have in my own personal collection.
  13. Jim, its not that the Fair Corporation had any plans to retain the US Pavilion or the NYS Pavilion. The decision to retain both of those buildings was decided by a committee that was headed by city officials reporting to Mayor Wagner. Federal and State officials pushed for their retention respectively against Moses wishes. In the case of the US Pavilion, the Federal government never paid for the utility services it consumed during the fair despite the Fair Corporations many attempts to collect the balance due up to the time the fair closed. Once the fair agreed to accept a reduced amount on that account, then the government told the Fair Corp. that if they paid the utility bill balance there would be no money left for demolition. In the case of the NYS Pavilion, Governor Rockefeller basically told the City that the pavilion was originally planned as a permanent structure and was to be a gift to the people of New York. Done deal. In effect, politicians that had more political capital at the time made those decisions. Of course once the park was returned to Parks Department control on June 3, 1967, it was up to the city to maintain and preserve these structures. This is what I wrote about these two buildings (as well as 8 others) in an article titled "An Almost Fond Farewell Before the Show Even Started" back in 2005, which can be found on Bill Young's nywf64.com website. New York State – Surprising enough the fair records indicate that in 1966 the State of New York and the City of New York “told” fair officials that this building was to be a gift to the people of New York. The files contain no structural evaluations and there was very little discussion amongst fair officials about this decision. This obviously was a very political issue and even Robert Moses himself did not feel compelled to dispute this decision and as such it was accepted as fact by the fairs officials. At this point the fair corporation proceeded with the small amount of work necessary to convert the building for some kind of park use after they received assurances from the state government that the necessary funds would be made available to pay for the work. United States Pavilion – This is where the records really get interesting. By far there was more discussion and documentation about the retention of this structure after the fair than any other building noted in the files. As early as 1963 fair officials were adamant about their desire not to see this building retained in the park after the fair. Though at some point during 1964 it seemed that the New York Board of Education expressed a serious interest in the building even though Moses once again expressed his view that a city park was no place for a school. Once again proposals were made and opinions voiced. The records clearly document that through much of 1964 and well into 1965 many meetings were held where various state and federal officials weighed in on this subject with no clear decision as to the buildings fate being made. At various times in mid 1965 the idea of using the building for a presidential library was proposed as well as a federal office building! It doesn’t seem that Moses objected to the library idea but he positively had a fit over the office building idea! But looming as a bigger issue now was the fact that the U.S. government had neglected to pay for any of the electric and water service to the building from the date the utilities were turned on back in 1963. By the time the fair corporation began in earnest to pursue the government for payment of the bill it totaled almost $215,000.00! Bearing in mind that the fair was working to put its financial affairs in order due to the fact that it desperately needed as much money as it could lay its hands on fair officials spent a considerable amount of time corresponding back and forth with various government officials about the validity of the bill and the need for it to be paid. Each time pressing a little with one official and then another as they worked their way up the government food chain. At one point the government flat out told the fair that they thought the bill was excessive where as Moses countered with a press release slamming the government for failing to pay its bills in a timely fashion and throwing in for good measure that the government had also not allotted any money in its budget for demolition of the building. Behind the scenes though fair officials countered with numerous meter readings and various contract verbiage in a desperate attempt to collect on this large bill. Finally, fair officials relented and reduced the bill to approximately $197,000.00 which the government finally paid in October 1965 just as the fair was preparing to close its gates! The government’s correspondence during this period indicate that $125,000.00 was budgeted for utilities and that $72,000.00 would need to be transferred from the demolition reserve fund to pay the agreed amount. While this dispute was being worked out it seems that the Board of Education lost interest in the building once again due to the high cost of upgrading the structure to then current building codes. An earlier study had estimated the total cost of conversion at $3,761,000.00. By this time though it seems that miraculously whatever remaining demolition funds the U.S. government had set aside for this purpose were no longer available. I speculate that this was due in large part to under budgeting and the belief on the government’s part that maybe, somehow water and electric were free for them at the fair! As such (as would be the case with the New York State pavilion) in January 1966 the people of New York got another unexpected gift this time courtesy of our government with control of the building being turned over to the parks department in September 1966. It is at this point that the fair corporation simply washed their hands of any responsibility or involvement with the building even though at the time they were still very actively involved and in control of the rest of the park as they proceeded with the final phases of the restoration work. As a side note to this issue as late as mid 1967 Sam Lefrak, the developer of Lefrak city in Queens proposed creating an art museum in the building and was aggressively pursuing this plan of action in hopes of having the museum ready for the rededication of the park in June of that same year. Obviously nothing ever came of his idea and as such the building was to sit empty until the city finally put this once magnificent structure out of its misery and demolished it in the late 1970’s.
  14. I know from my own research in the Fair Corporation records, that it was never part of the plan to retain the Unisphere lighting towers for the following reasons: 1) The Parks Department didn't want the responsibility or cost associated with maintaining such an elaborate lighting setup. In fact, the Parks Department specified that all special lighting effects were to be removed from the post fair parks roadways and fountains/pools. To that end, there was a specific demolition contract let for fountain and pool conversion/removal that took into account the salvage value of all lighting units, timers, pumps, nozzles and where appropriate replacement with equipment that complied with the Parks Departments requirements. 2) The risk of vandalism to the lighting fixtures. 3) The salvage value of the fixtures and steel towers helped to offset the costs of preparing the Unisphere and its surrounding fountains for the post fair park above the $100,000 that U.S. Steel agreed to contribute for this work.
  15. Coast Guard 1965

    Working for a bank, I can tell that this is related to the federal requirement for handicapped access to websites or more specifically the following: Congress significantly strengthened Section 508 in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Its primary purpose is to provide access to and use of Federal executive agencies' electronic and information technology (ICT) by individuals with disabilities.