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USA Pavilion Critique

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Having also visited the US Pavilion in Shanghai, I'd say that is a fair assessment. They didn't have to hire Frank Gehry as the author suggested; I'm sure there would have been hundreds of student architects who would have been glad to lend their name to an important project like a major world's fair. A young and relatively unknown I.M. Pei designed the Republic of China pavilion at Expo 70. Maya Lin was a student architect when she designed the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., a project that launched her career.

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I've seen photos of the USA pavillion in drawings,but I cannot find actual photos of the pavillion .If anyone has can you post them.or can you give me a site were they can be viewed.Thanks

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Here's a selection of photos I took of the USA Pavilion, Tony.

As you can see, the exterior is fairly bland-- with a diner in the base and a small stage outside for various events.

Inside, the visitor is first welcomed in a lobby filled with the logos of corporate sponsors. A short film is shown on multiple screens.

Then a second theater displays a film in which both the President and Secretary of State make official welcomes, followed by various corporate CEOs extolling the virtues of US efforts to pave new roads in energy, transportation, communication, and education.

In a third theater, viewers are seated before five vertical, geometrically shaped screens. There they witness a short fictional film about a little girl who dreams of planting a flower garden in an inner city vacant lot. She encounters several obstacles-- mostly in the form of various naysayers-- but her creativity, passion, and determination ultimately win over even her staunchest opponents and they all bond together in the end to help finish the task. I'm sure some find it maudlin-- but I found it to be a surprisingly touching display of the American "can do" spirit.

Next, the crowds are expelled into an area filled with assorted kiosks from individual corporate sponsors-- each touting themselves in some marginally theme-appropriate way.

And finally, there's the obligatory gift shop and the aforementioned diner.

In the end, it certainly wasn't my favorite Pavilion by far-- but considering how little time its creators and supporters had to erect and fill it at all-- I'd still have to say I left feeling more impressed than depressed.

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All photographs ©World's Fair Entertainment, Inc.

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Hi Trey,

Wow. I'm sure it is lovely, but from here - first it looks like a gas tank on the GCP (woops, thats gone :() and then it looks like a refrigeration unit! :huh:

Best,

Eric

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No, not lovely-- like I said, bland. But at least it was there. Although their message became inevitably corporate-- thank goodness for the private sponsors who lent their eleventh hour money and support to the Pavilion-- or there would've been no US presence whatsoever at the largest World's Fair in history. That the leaders of our great nation no longer consider such extraordinary global events worthy of their official participation is at best short-sighted and at worst inexcusable.

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