Jump to content


Photo

Oklahoma City World's Fair


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 RocketThrower

RocketThrower

    Loves World's Fairs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts

Posted 02 June 2010 - 11:53 PM

When I 1st moved to Oklahoma in 1984 many locals talked of how Oklahoma was trying/had tried for a Worlds Fair.
Anyone know anything about this?

Oklahoma City could really have benefitted from this in the 80s/90s by having a fair revitalize what has now grown into the m.a.p.s. project and canal revitalizing much of downtown OKC and the river.

#2 worldsfairent

worldsfairent

    Pacific Coast PTU'er

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,187 posts

Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:57 PM

I was still living there myself in 1984, but don't remember hearing anything about it. Sure would be interesting to find some archival info on, though!

#3 RocketThrower

RocketThrower

    Loves World's Fairs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts

Posted 19 June 2010 - 06:33 PM

Hows this for starters? And I have found lots more! Don't have time to post it all.

OKC definately had a proposal for a 1989 World's Fair!!

Attached Files



#4 RocketThrower

RocketThrower

    Loves World's Fairs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts

Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:39 PM

There is even a Oklahoma Worlds Fair Legacy from the fair that never was....

http://dougdawg.blog...orlds-fair.html

#5 RocketThrower

RocketThrower

    Loves World's Fairs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts

Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:50 PM

guess no ones interested :unsure:

#6 Randy Treadway

Randy Treadway

    Master Builder

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,050 posts

Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:35 PM

At best I suspect Oklahoma City could attract attendance similar to The Texas Centennial / Pan America Expo in 1936-37, or San Antonio's Hemisfair in 1968.
So it would be best to pursue a regional expo, or a narrow-theme international expo, and not a full-blown major one like Shanghai.

Similarly, just because Oklahoma City has an NBA team now, it doesn't mean they're ready to bid for the Summer Olympics.

But I hope interest remains... sometimes good things come with baby steps and a lot of patience.

#7 Jim

Jim

    Never Logs Off

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,781 posts

Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:49 PM

Interesting information and thank you for posting. It is noteworthy that the commentary passage states that a 1989 world's fair seemed to be a "sure thing." Perhaps the facts of the New Orleans fiasco were not common knowledge when that commentary was written. But there must have been some awareness of the finacial losses in Knoxville. I don't quite get it. I really did not understand Knoxville's fair either. There have been small fairs, to be sure, but many were in fair more cosmopolitan locations including Seattle, New Orleans and San Antonio. Even Spokane had appeal, I suppose, because of the spectacular beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I guess I don't include Oklahoma City in that category of host cities. The fact that a city has a unique and inviting charm certainly does not guarantee success for an exposition but I suspect that it helps.

#8 Randy Treadway

Randy Treadway

    Master Builder

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,050 posts

Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:19 PM

I thought of that too.
Successful attendance levels often require a host city to be a recognized tourist destination. So a trip to New York could also take in the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and so on.

If Oklahoma City is a legitimate tourist destination, they've certainly kept it an Oklahoma state secret. Not to offend anybody of course- I'm sure it's a nice town with friendly people.

#9 RocketThrower

RocketThrower

    Loves World's Fairs

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 598 posts

Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:00 PM

Making fun of ole lil OKC are we? Knoxville was touted as the scruffy little city that hosted a World's Fair, well...OKC would have been the scruffier (scruffiest even)city to host a World's Fair.

I think they really could have (and still could) pull it off. It is centralized in the nation, easy to get to from all directions. If the fair was designed and marketed right, I think it could be rather successful.

The Fair was the Largest proposal ever done in Oklahoma history (as of 1994, and may still be.) It was over 890 pages long, in many volumes and the fair was set to go. Oklahoma City decided to pull the plug on it's own when the oil boom crashed and seen the reciepts for the '84 fair and then the exposed controversay that Knoxville suffered after it's fair had ended.

Just imagine, the 64/65 New York World's Fair luminaires could have been in ANOTHER world's fair being it was going to be in the Oklahoma City State Fair Park. B)

#10 Jim

Jim

    Never Logs Off

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,781 posts

Posted 25 June 2010 - 07:37 AM

Interesting. I guess I did view Knoxville as scruffy. I remember wondering, at the time, why and how Knoxville could host an actual world's fair. My experience with world's fairs was with NYC and Montreal. Both fairs were gigantic and stunning and on both trips, we spent a considerable amount of time in each respective city and both offered unlimited opportunities for amazement and entertainment. I could not determine what else could be found in Knoxville, what else would attract people to that city or that region. I suppose when I read the Oklahoma City idea I had the same thought. Unfortunately, when I think of that city, I think of the tragedy with the federal office building which, of course, happened after the date of the proposed fair. On the other hand, tragedies have often sparked the idea of an exposition. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake's damage and the subsequent rebuilding of that city resulted in the 1915 exposition. Chicago's growth following the great fire was a part of that city's impetus for its 1893 expostion. While I still see those places as far more appealing in a geographic sense and in cosmopolitan tone, I suspect any city has the right to redefine itself with a major event like a fair.

#11 Randy Treadway

Randy Treadway

    Master Builder

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,050 posts

Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:03 AM

I view efforts like Knoxville, and perhaps even New Orleans or Spokane, as the smaller "Class 2" or "Class 3" international expos. They were really no bigger than the regional expos like the "Cotton States & International Exposition" in Atlanta in 1895, which was intended to promote the region's products and open new markets for those products internationally, with particular targeting of Latin American countries.

#12 waynebretl

waynebretl

    See Yourself on Color TV!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,877 posts

Posted 25 June 2010 - 11:37 AM

Just imagine, the 64/65 New York World's Fair luminaires could have been in ANOTHER world's fair being it was going to be in the Oklahoma City State Fair Park.



Does anyone know if the luminaires still used those unusual flat fluorescent panels when first installed in OKC or the other places they went to? Of course, they were replaced eventually as the flat ones were no longer produced.

#13 Bill Cotter

Bill Cotter

    Master Builder

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,260 posts

Posted 25 June 2010 - 11:56 AM

Only a guess, but my bet is they installed them as is and used them that way until they ran out of any spare parts they got in the deal. Why soend $ changing them until they needed to, plus GE was probably still thinking of selling those bulbs/panels at that time.

#14 AfterTheFair

AfterTheFair

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts

Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

Are the lights from 64-65 still at the OKC fairgrounds? Looks like they've done a lot of "improvements" lately...

#15 Bill Cotter

Bill Cotter

    Master Builder

  • Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,260 posts

Posted 26 July 2011 - 04:06 PM

Sadly, I believe they're now gone.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users