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JOHNNY AT THE FAIR

On top of the world

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Great shots Johnny, I think these are the only shots I;ve ever seen of the top of the Unisphere. Steve

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What is the thing that looks like a tea kettle sitting on top of the Unisphere in the photo at the right?

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Interesting. I looked at slides I took of the Unisphere in 1979 and do not see that beacon in place. I wonder when it was added?

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There has always been a red beacon up there, but I think it might have been replaced with a different model (with a different shape) at some point.

We have '64-65 photos that show it quite clearly.

I'm pretty sure it's required by FAA rules because of the height of the Unisphere.. just like a beacon is required on top of the New York State Pavilion tower. (preferably "lit"). :)

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Here is what the beacon looked like in 1964. The housing appears to have been a different shape, with two red bulbs, one mounted over the other one.

1964_beacon.jpg

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That's an incredible photo Johnny.....I know I've mentioned this in the past simply because I always loved the illuminated Capitols, my question is what would it take to restore that feature ????/

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Johnny and I were just discussing that on Saturday standing at the base of the Unisphere. All of the cables were cut at the junction boxes at the base, so they would need to be replaced. I would imagine that basically all of the cabling would be suspect after this many years outside. In addition many of the lights show damage such as missing lenses. You would probably have to plan on replacing the whole system.

What I found interesting is that Johnny mentioned his original blueprints show that they had always planned to cut those cables at the end of the fair. I don't know why they had decided on that before it was even built.

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Any signs of the NYSP survey starting?

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Thank's Bill for your response.....As a kid I would just be overwhelmed just sitting there at night taking it all in......

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It was great standing at the base of the Uni with Bill and his lovely wife on Sat. I dug up some info on the aircraft beacon from the blueprint.It shows That it flashed, and even thought the continent lights were to be removed after the fair the beacon was to be permanent. I guess the towers of the NYSP over shadowed the Uni and the beacon was turned off. In the designing stage of the Unisphere, Philip Johnson may have not yet included the towers.

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Do you suppose that all those "pull boxes" are shutoff boxes? I don't know industrial wiring so I'm not clear as to what those are. To me, a pull box is a box with a handle that swings on and off. If they are, they're pretty hard to get to! Anybody know? (thanks Johnny for posting this great stuff)

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Do you suppose that all those "pull boxes" are shutoff boxes? I don't know industrial wiring so I'm not clear as to what those are. To me, a pull box is a box with a handle that swings on and off. If they are, they're pretty hard to get to! Anybody know? (thanks Johnny for posting this great stuff)

A pull box is a conduit junction box used for 'pulling' wires through the conduit to the next junction box. Normally there are no wire splices in pull boxes, wire splices are found in junction boxes.

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I believe a pull box is where wires are pulled into from the conduits so they can be connected, etc.

Wow, two replies at the same time!

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Johnny, the plans mention the Transformer Room. Where was that? Was or is it located with the pump room? If it was, its probably all gone with the remodel of the pump room.

Mitch

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A pull box is a conduit junction box used for 'pulling' wires through the conduit to the next junction box. Normally there are no wire splices in pull boxes, wire splices are found in junction boxes.

That is correct. You can only pull wire so far before it becomes impossible due to friction. Also, four 90 degree els make a circle, which is also impossible to pull. So they break up a run with pull boxes to ease wire running.

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If we were going to put in a new capital lights system, but tear out the old conduits (which are galvanized instead of stainless, and probably have big corrosion problems), pull boxes and conduit boxes....

.....what kind of system and technologies would we use, that are available in 2011? As maintenance free as possible.

Maybe first of all we would have to define how many lumens a capital light would have to produce.... how far away should a person be able to see them... in fog or snow... etc.

That will determine what combination of light technology and power requirements we're going to have to look at.

Using battery power that would have to be replaced once every two years might be impractical given today's technology, if anybody wants to be able to see the lights from a point more than 10 feet away.

What about rechargeable batteries that could be recharged in the daytime from solar panels? Could solar panels be mounted to the back side of the continents, and still get enough light from inside the Unisphere to produce meaningful electricity?

Maybe rechargeable batteries could be connected to solar panels located somewhere nearby in the park? What about up on top of the NYS Pavilion towers, which aren't being used for anything else anyway? Maybe a wind turbine?

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No on solar panels inside the Unisphere. Too many of them would have to point away from direct sunlight - plus the weight and the ugliness.

I would say LED lights with lower power requirements and longer life, but powered by traditional (ie hard wire) sources.

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Well I doubt we'll ever see the restoration in our lifetime, however with the approaching 50 year anniversary ( hard to believe that ), maybe there's a sense of hope

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