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1964 NYWF Forever

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About 1964 NYWF Forever

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  1. Obit on Disney designer

    Hello Everyone: I just found out today that another person who was instrumental in the Disney-designed attractions at the NYWF passed away back on July 27, 2017. His name was Marty Sklar, and he was 83 years old at his passing. Below is the obituary from the New York Times: Marty Sklar, Longtime Disney Aide and Executive, Dies at 83 By RICHARD SANDOMIR AUG. 3, 2017 Marty Sklar in front of an image of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in 2005. Mr. Sklar worked for the Walt Disney Company for more than 50 years. Credit Jae C Hong/Associated Press On the mid-July day in 1955 when Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif., confusion reigned. More people stormed its grounds than expected, rides broke down, food and beverage supplies ran short, and a plumbers’ strike limited the number of working water fountains. Out in the park that afternoon, amid the disorder, was Marty Sklar, a 21-year-old college junior who was editing the theme park’s 10-cent newspaper. At one point Fess Parker, in full costume as Disney’s television and big-screen Davy Crockett, complete with coonskin cap, approached him on horseback. Spotting Mr. Sklar’s name tag, Mr. Parker called out for help. “Marty,” he said, “get me out of here before this horse hurts someone!” Disneyland recovered well from the early chaos. And Mr. Sklar went on to spend more than a half-century at the Walt Disney Company, as a close aide to Walt Disney himself and eventually as the principal creative executive of the company’s Imagineering unit, made up of the innovators who blend their imaginations and their technical expertise in devising every element of the company’s theme parks. “Marty was sort of the keeper of the flame of Walt’s philosophies so that everybody could learn from them,” Bob Gurr, an Imagineer for 27 years (his credits include the Matterhorn roller coasters), said in a telephone interview. “Marty was connected to literally everything the Disney company has done since Disneyland. Mr. Sklar, who died on July 27 at his home in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, maintained his connection to the company after his retirement in 2009 (timed for the 54th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening). Last year, at Day 1 of Shanghai Disney in China, he became the only cast member, as the company calls its workers, to have attended the openings of all 12 Disney parks worldwide. And less than two weeks before he died, he was at D23, a Disney fan convention, reminiscing on a panel about Disneyland. His death was announced by the Disney company, which did not give a cause. He was 83. Mr. Sklar’s job editing The Disneyland News was a temporary one, but he returned to Disneyland after graduating from U.C.L.A. in 1956 to work in its publicity department. He soon became Mr. Disney’s chief ghostwriter for publicity materials, dedications, souvenir guides, speeches, slogans, presentations and short films, like the one that helped the company win approval to build Walt Disney World and Epcot in central Florida. He also collaborated with Walt and his brother, Roy, on Disney’s annual reports. “It was pretty heady stuff for someone just closing in on his 30th birthday and only six or seven years out of college,” Mr. Sklar wrote in his autobiography, “Dream It! Do It: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms” (2013). But even as Mr. Disney leaned on Mr. Sklar’s writing, he assigned him to work on the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, where the Disney company was designing exhibits and attractions. Mr. Sklar wrote Mr. Disney’s narration for the “Magic Skyway” at the Ford pavilion, with its animatronic dinosaurs and cave men, and was the main link to major corporate sponsors. It was the start of Mr. Sklar’s second phase at the company. As an increasingly important member, and leader, of the Imagineers, he became even more identified with the legacy of Mr. Disney, who died in late 1966, well before the openings of Walt Disney World, in 1971, and Epcot, in 1982. After Mr. Disney’s death of lung cancer at 65, Mr. Sklar was thrust back into writing when he was told that the company’s top executives had not prepared a public statement in advance, even though, as he wrote in his autobiography, “it was no secret Walt was dying.” Mr. Sklar in 2016 receiving the Diane Disney Miller Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Credit Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for The Walt Disney Family Museum Mr. Sklar resented having to write the statement that Roy Disney would sign, he said, but he understood that the lack of planning was a sign that Mr. Disney’s death had paralyzed the company’s leaders. “The truth is they were all scared as hell,” Mr. Sklar wrote. Martin Adrian Sklar was born in New Brunswick, N.J., on Feb. 6, 1934. His father, Leon, was a teacher, and his mother, the former Lilyn Fuchs, worked at Johnson & Johnson before the family moved to Long Beach, Calif., when Marty was 12. .After high school, he had temporary jobs working at Douglas Aircraft, scooping ice cream at a hamburger drive-in and delivering packages for the Postal Service. But in May 1955, as his junior year at U.C.L.A. was ending, Mr. Sklar received a message to call E. Cardon Walker, the head of marketing and publicity at Disney. At the time, Mr. Sklar was the new editor in chief of The Daily Bruin, the U.C.L.A. student newspaper. Mr. Walker asked him to interview for the job of creating and editing The Disneyland News. The theme park was opening soon, Mr. Walker told him. It needed him. Mr. Walker hired him after a 20-minute interview. But Mr. Sklar still needed to assure Mr. Disney that he knew what he was doing. “I was on the job two weeks and had to present the concept for the paper to Walt Disney,” he recalled in a podcast for the Disney Avenue website. “If Walt didn’t like it, I was out the door, and he’d get a pro to do it. But the good fortune was that Walt liked it. I was 21. It was scary. I’d never worked professionally.” Mr. Sklar eventually distilled Mr. Disney’s lessons (and some from others) into “Mickey’s Ten Commandments,” a manifesto of theme park management. Among the commandments: Know your audience. Wear your guests’ shoes, figuratively speaking, to experience an attraction as they would. Tell one story at a time in any given attraction. Bob Rogers, an expert in themed entertainment, once called Mr. Sklar “the sorcerer’s apprentice” — the role Mickey Mouse played in the Disney classic “Fantasia” (1940) — for channeling the Disney philosophies to three generations of designers. Mr. Sklar is survived by his wife, the former Leah Gerber; his daughter Leslie Sklar; his son Howard; and four grandchildren. Mr. Sklar was a devout Disney executive. He routinely wore a three-faced Mickey Mouse watch (which gave him the times in Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo) and a gold Mickey Mouse ring. And he never forgot all that Mr. Disney had taught him. When the Disney company was developing a children’s area for the California Adventure Park, Mr. Sklar reminded the planners to include activities that parents and children could do together, as Mr. Disney would have mandated. “I reminded everyone that the reason Disneyland existed at all was because Walt used to take his daughters Diane and Sharon to the Griffith Park merry-go-round,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 2002, “and Daddy had to sit on the park bench eating peanuts and popcorn while the kids rode alone.” Here is a link to an interview that Mr. Sklar did that tells all about his involvement with the New York World's Fair and the work he did at all four of the Disney projects at the Fair: http://blog.silive.com/sinotebook/2010/04/an_interview_with_marty_sklar.html
  2. Closing Day Fifty Years Ago

    Roger: Thanks so much for posting these wonderful photos-- I too, thought off and on yesterday about Expo 67 reaching the closing date 50 years ago. I was only 3 1/2 years old at the time, but have enjoyed looking at photos and collecting things from Expo over the years. It seems strange to think that many of the people in the photos who happened to be relatively young at that time are now in their 70's and 80's!!! Sadly, I am sure many people in those photos have since passed away as well. At least they will always be frozen in time in those wonderful photos from October 29, 1967. Again thanks for sharing them. Ronald PS: We now can now look forward to the next World's Fair 50th anniversary that will be approaching in 2018-- the opening of Hemisfair in San Antonio, TX on April 6, 1968. I have always thought of Hemisfair as a miniature 1964/65 New York World's Fair. Many of the corporate sponsors that had pavilions at NYWF also had pavilions at Hemisfair (Ford even carried over some of the NYWF displays including the Aurora show car). Both fairs left behind theme centers that still stand to this day (Unisphere and Tower of the Americas), and both have few remaining structures still standing. There is a nice website I recently discovered that has information on the celebration that is being planned in San Antonio for the 50th Anniversary in April 2018. You can check it out at www.hemisfair.org. There is also a great website that covers Hemisfair in great detail with many photos at www.worldsfair68.info.
  3. Hello Everyone: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of Expo 67!!! It just so happens that we are using the same calendar for 2017 that was used in 1967, so this is the exact date 50 years later!!! I like Expo 67, but I still think that NYWF 64/65 had more appealing architecture, especially the large corporate pavilions. I wish that Expo 67 would have had more corporate participation than it did- to me that is one of the things that makes NYWF 64/65 more appealing-- it was more like a giant two-year trade fair, whereas Expo 67 was more about Nations than big business. Just my two cents worth-- I hope that everyone who reads this that visited Expo 67 in person will put some of their memories on here about being there in 1967. I was only three years old, so I was too young to remember Expo when it was going on. Thanks!! Ronald
  4. Aboard the Swiss Sky Ride in June 1964

    Nice view of the family telephone booth in the lower left area-- I always wondered if any of these got saved, or if they demolished them on the spot when the fair was being torn down. Anyone know anything about them?? Did they build them out of thin concrete, or perhaps fiberglass? Ronald
  5. Kodak pavillion model

    Hello Everyone: I know that this thread was last posted to over seven years ago, but the other day, I came across one of the original Kodak Pavilion models that was available for sale on a website that deals in high-end merchandise and artwork. It appears that the original model was made by a company called Displaymasters, Inc. of Edgewater, NJ. It was stated in the description that very few of these had been made, but the actual number is unknown. The example that was available for sale was in perfect condition-- the size of it was shown as being 24" long, 14" wide, and 6 1/2" tall. The price you might ask? It was being offered at $7,750.00. I would love to own one, but there is no way that I feel the model would be worth that much. It is rare, but considering it was originally offered up as a display for Kodak dealers to purchase and show in their stores to stir up interest in Kodak's participation at the NYWF, I feel a much more realistic price would be in the $1500-$2000.00 range. How do you fellow NYWF collectors feel about it? Ronald PS: In the photo above that shows one of the Kodak Pavilion models on display at the Queens Museum, is the touchtone phone in the photo one of those actually displayed at the Bell Pavilion? And is the IBM typewriter one of the original demonstration models that people could play around with at the IBM pavilion? The photo is a bit out of focus, so I can't read the descriptions shown in front of the objects in the photo.
  6. The Vault III CD-ROM

    Hello Everyone: What is this discussion about? I am unfamiliar with "The Vault"- is it some type of archived materials about the fair? Please let me know. I am very intrigued, LOL!!! Ronald
  7. Greyhound Bus / Window Decals

    To member "Circa" (Steve): I am interested in purchasing one of these from you before they are all gone!!! I have been wanting to send you a private message about these for several days, but was unable to figure out how to do so. I think I finally figured the private messaging system out a few minutes ago, and you should have a message from me now about this. Thanks so much- will look forward to your reply! Ronald
  8. Hello Mitch: I so hope you can save this wonderful piece of the fair!!! I have dreamed of owning this myself-- when I first became aware of it several years ago, I figured at that time that if it ever did go up for sale, it would be too rich for my blood!!! When it was offered up not long ago, I again thought about it, but knew that I live too far away to have it transported (I live in Illinois) even if I could afford it. Believe me, I would be first in line to own it if I could figure out a way to afford the transportation to Illinois and whatever it would cost to buy it from the present owners. Please do everything in your power to save it-- it would be absolutely criminal to see it end up scrapped!!! I missed out on a chance to own one of the ride chairs from the Bell Pavilion two years ago that had been preserved untouched in enclosed storage since 1965 by the original purchaser-- It was very reasonably priced, but it was too far away for me to get it transported to my home in Illinois. Good luck-- I will say a prayer that it gets preserved!! Ronald
  9. A very early look at General Motors.

    Hello Everyone: It has been awhile since I have posted anything on this forum. I have been reading this thread on the GM Pavilion and it made me think about the fact that the other day I read an article about the world's largest McDonald's that was built on the site of the 2012 London Summer Olympics that was operated only during the Olympics and then was dismantled. The intention from the beginning was that nearly 100% of the structure and it's fixtures would be reused at other McDonald's around Great Britain and very little of it had to be disposed of. It seems that in the 1960's everyone had the mentality that a magic "black hole" just sucked up all of the waste and garbage of the world and absolutely no one cared about recycling. When you think about the fact that the 1964-65 NYWF was nearly one mile by one mile square, and contained basically a small city of structures and that when the fair was over, most of it was carted off to land fills and not reused, it truly does seem to be a mindboggling waste of resources. Such a shame that Mr. Moses and the Fair Board of Directors couldn't have had the foresite to have the buildings designed so that at least 50% or more could have remained after the fair and repurposed into the dream that Moses had for FMCP. Just my two-cents worth. Ronald
  10. 1964 World's Fair to Cost $1 Billion

    Hello Everyone: I have an original ad from a publication from 1939 that boast of the Administration Building from the 1939-40 New York World's Fair having cost $900,000.00- and that was in 1938 when it was completed!!! That building was a beauty- it is a real shame that it wasn't saved for a post-fair repurposing. It would have made a nice Administration Building for the 1964-65 Fair with some modifications to make it look more 1960's modern. Ronald
  11. Items wanted for TV episode

    Bill: I always wondered if USS still had a copyright on the Unisphere- you answered my question by the statement you just made on this subject-- Thanks!! Ronald
  12. Very early aerial view

    Seeing this photograph, and then knowing what would be the completed product four years later, makes one realize how huge the undertaking was to build the 1964/65 fair. Thanks so much Bill for posting this fantastic photo!!! Ronald
  13. Happy Birthday, Bill Cotter!

    Bill: Hope you have a wonderful birthday, and thanks so much for all of your contributions to World's Fair Community!!! Ronald
  14. Hello: I have a question that I don't think has been addressed in previous threads (none that I could find, anyway), so perhaps someone can satisfy my curiosity: With the amount of money that was spent on the larger pavilions such as General Motors, Ford, General Electric, Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, etc, did most of these have complete heating systems in them in addition to A/C to help protect all of the expensive displays during the Winter months between the 1964 and 1965 seasons? It would seem especially true of General Motors and Ford since they spent tens of millions to build these structures, and without any heating systems during the cold winter months, it would seem that much of the interiors would be susceptible to mildew and mold. I know it would be very expensive to heat them, especially since the structures would have been mostly empty except for Pinkerton security and a skeleton crew for maintenance, but with that much money on the line, it would have been a small investment compared to having to rip out and replace damaged interiors. Would like to hear anyone's input on this if you have seen any of the blueprints for these structures that would indicate heating systems. Thanks!! Ronald
  15. Hello Everyone: Upon looking at the close-up shot of the dangling construction worker, there appears to be another person standing on the "TOTFW", right in the middle where all of the arched sections meet. Could be an optical illusion, but I can make out what appears to be a head and body possibly bending over- what does everyone else think? Ronald
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