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1992 Chicago World's Fair


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#1 Dion Kucera

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 10:18 AM

Here's an article about the cancelled 1992 Chicago World's Fair. Chicago won the bidding process to host the fair, but eventually lost it to Seville after losing interest. Although the fair was never never held, the '92 Chicago Fair was the last world's fair planned to be hosted in the United States (after '84 in New Orleans). The financial failure of the '84 Expo helped kill the '92 Expo and all other fairs in the U.S. since then.


http://cbs2chicago.c....2.1166518.html




"The estimated cost of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition was $150 million before it opened, but the actual cost was 15 percent more. They also expected 75,000 visits a day, but the actual visits were 40 percent less. Taxpayers ended up stuck with some of the more than $100 million in unpaid bills after the fair was over. By June 1985, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said attendance estimates were too high, and cost estimates were too low. He also said the World's Fair concept itself was obsolescent."

#2 Jim

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:46 PM

Thanks for posting that article. It is very informative. It is also remarkable to consider that $48 million was spent on the Chicago Olympic proposal. I understand that it was private money, but that is an enormous sum with no productive results.

#3 Randy Treadway

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:54 PM

If a city doesn't have that kind of money to throw around, it's a waste of time to even bid. That's how big the Olympics has become.

#4 Jim

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 07:35 AM

I wonder how much the cost of constructing the venues and then the actual hosting of the 2004 Olympic Summer Games has affected the economic mess in Greece.

During the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, NBC ran a story about former Olympic host cities and discussed which ones had made the best use of their venues and recovered the cost of their expenditures. The winner--and this really impressed me--was Lake Placid. The story noted two significant facts. The first is that the Lake Placid 1980 games were the last of the "small" Olympic games and the venues all had pre-planned post-Olympic use. Secondly, NYS (in a rare moment of sound economic planning) created ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority) and began operating the 1980 venues as soon as the games came to a close. The result has been steady use of all facilities, significant winter sporting events and competitions and improvement of venues to keep them desirable for future competitions. The bob sleigh run has been totally renovated along with the luge run. The ski jumps were renovated in the last three years and host competitions year round (the summer jumping is truly something to see) and the 1980 Olympic Field House (which is attached to the 1932 Olympic Arena) is about to be enlarged with a fourth ice rink to be added. Whiteface Mountain has what many consider the best snow making and lift facilities in the Northeast. And the USOC has constructed a major Olympic training center in LP which provides everything from winter sport facilities to housing for those in training. Lake Placid has also opened an Olympic Museum devoted to both of its winter games and the times I have visited I have seen visitors from all over the world who have come to soak in the spirit of that village and to linger over the sports stories found in the venues and in that museum.

While Lake Placid has been a remarkable winter sports destination for a century or more, it is, today, a year round resort. There are new hotels, restaurants and all that one would find in any first class resort area with one huge exception. NYS has fiercely protected the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks with stringent regulations designed to preserve and protect the natural environment and beauty of the park. The result is a curious blend of vibrant economic success with true wilderness preservation in America's largest park. It all seems to work.

Lake Placid is considering a bid for the new Youth Olympic Games and the estimates are that the number of young athletes will surpass the number of competitors the village hosted in 1980, and the planners believe they can easily deal with that.

The overview, I suppose, is that at one time, it was possible to host an Olympic games with post Olympic success. I really don't know how that can be done today simply because the initial costs are so out of control and getting worse every time a new city hosts either winter or summer games.

#5 Randy Treadway

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:00 AM

Lake Placid has been a good steward of its legacy, to be sure.

Here is a good example of how the Olympics has grown in the last 40 years. Splitting the Summer and Winter Games into alternating years contributed to it, but mostly it's been out-of-control bidding by the American TV networks, mainly NBC. If the IOC can get the money, of course they want to spend it. But do they give it to any host cities? Of course not!!!! Sometimes they use it to bring third world countries' teams to the Games when that country couldn't otherwise afford it. Which results in people running 15 seconds for the 100 meter dash and requiring 50 qualifying heats to eliminate all the riff raff. They should have regional qualifying instead of bringing EVERYBODY to the Olympics. But I'm off on another tangent. Back to the main observation.

Here is an example.
Munich is bidding for the Winter Olympics, and is considered a front runner. Their bid is really for 'Bavaria' to host it- because Garmisch-Partenkirchen (site of the '36 Winter Olympics) would host the ski jumping and some of the alpine skiing events, Berchtesgaden would host the luge/bobsled/skeleton at their Konigsee track, Munich itself would host figure skating and similar 'indoor arena' events.
Here's the historical thing of note- Munich hosted the Summer Olympics in 1972, but now is considered too small to host a Summer Olympics!
That's how much everything has grown. A city which was good enough to host the Summer Games 40 years ago is now only big enough to host a Winter Games.

So where does that leave Lake Placid? Hosting a Youth Olympic Games, and regular stops on the individual sport tours. A nice town though.
Did I hear correctly a while back that the 1980 Olympic Village housing became a New York State Prison facility? If true I don't know whether it means the athletes in 1980 had it really tough, or that New York treats its prisoners very, very good.

#6 Jim

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:14 PM

Yep, the althletes' village is now Ray Brook prison. It is minimum security but, nevertheless, a prison. It is near Saranac Lake which is about five or six miles from Lake Placid. In truth, as with many of the LP Olympic facilities, it was cost effective construction with a post games useage plan. The LPOOC knew what they were doing.

Is Munich really the front runnere for a bid (2022?). I did read that the plan is to really hold many of the events in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and that is cool although the entire region certainly has an unpleasant odor of its Nazi past. (There is a remarkable web site called "The Third Reich In Ruins" which contains hundreds of then and now photographs of Germany. The shots of the 1936 winter Olympic games with Hitler and his gang in attendance and what those very sites look like today is all very creepy. Much of what was constructed for the 1936 games remains today.)

I wonder if that Nazi past will have an impact on Bavaria as a host site and I wonder if the events in Munich in 1972 will have any affect as the host site is selected. I don't believe that should be the case and 1972 was a tragedy on so many levels including the fact that Germany (West Germany at the time) was trying so hard to erase the memory of the infamous 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin.

One final note: I have read two articles in recent months about speculation that Lake Placid is really interested in more than a youth competition. I have read of ideas proposing that Montreal and Lake Placid host a joint winter games and another proposal that Albany and Lake Placid host the games. The first proposal might have some credibility. I think the general idea is like what you have described with Munich. Montreal would hold events needing a large indoor venue while the Adirondack region would host the outdoor events (skiing, ski jumping, luge, bobsleigh, biathalon etc.). Montreal and LP are only about an hour and a half apart. It could work. I have also read that Quebec City is going to submit a bid.

In any event, your comments about the cost and the image of greed that haunts the IOC are absolutely right.

Jim

#7 expo1853

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:35 AM

I actually have a poster, two sided, printed for this world's fair that never happened. One side shows a map of the proposed location and the other is a big ad for the fair. Probably part of their early promotions for the fair to the BIE.

#8 expoboy

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 03:21 PM

I would love to see this. I have a cover from a Chicago telephone book showing an early model and map of the planned event.

#9 waynebretl

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:21 PM

I would love to see this. I have a cover from a Chicago telephone book showing an early model and map of the planned event.

I would love to see the poster and the phone book cover too.

#10 expoboy

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:25 PM

I finally located and scanned the cover of the 1984 Chicago phone book that shows a model of the proposed 1992 Chicago World's Fair on the cover.

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#11 Jim

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

That is astounding.  It would have/could have been a wonderful event.  In the midst of the recognizable structures along Lakeshore Drive (and the imagined structures that might have been built) I think I see something that resembles the aerial ride from the 1933 Fair and I also see a gigantic Ferris Wheel.  What a wonderful place to host a world's fair.  I wish it had happened.



#12 waynebretl

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 02:05 PM

Another interesting thing to a Chicagoan is that it shows Meigs Field (the lakefront light-aviation airport) gone and Northerly Island used as part of the fairgrounds. Meigs eventually stayed open until 2003.






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