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Bill Cotter

I wonder what the thought was behind these

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The Fair Corporation put large pylons at the Fair entrances. Here are two views of the one at Gotham Plaza.

entrance-pylon-gotham-plaza.jpg

entrance-pylon-gotham-plaza-2.jpg

My question is - why? What purpose were they intended to serve? I imagine they cost a few bucks each to build, and I know they had pretty extensive foundations, so why would they Fair Corp. have gone to all that expense and trouble?

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From photos it seems there was no center pole or column to which the panels were mounted. Instead, the entire weight of the structure was born by the metal pipes which framed each panel and were connected together; in closeups it seems the connections were done with some kind of welding or bonding... but it's also possible single pipes may have run the length of the sides of multiple panels (diagonally). Quite an engineering design exercise.

These columns were entirely illuminated at night so that they could be seen from quite a distance.

It occured to me that maybe the design was meant to invoke a classic 'stack of cards'... but stacked VERY high !

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It's interesting that there were all sorts of campaigns to encourage guests to meet at one of the General Foods arches, or of course, "Meet Me at at the Smoke Rings", but I don't recall any "Meet me at the oddly shaped and unlabeled tower". They were quite massive and seemingly solidly built - but really sort of useless. I don't remember seeing any publicity material on them, at least not yet.

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I think there's a topic on this board somewhere- maybe in the Princess Diana death tunnel topic- that had something about entrance towers at the 1937 Paris International Expo. They seemed to have served basically the same purpose but were more like vertical columns (inflated? not sure) instead of 'stacks of cards'.

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Seems like better placement could have helped - for example, the one in Gotham Plaza could have been dead center at the bottom of the ramp, which would have made it much more clearly "the first thing you encounter at the entrance." As it is, it's not clear what it belongs to.

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Seems like better placement could have helped - for example, the one in Gotham Plaza could have been dead center at the bottom of the ramp, which would have made it much more clearly "the first thing you encounter at the entrance." As it is, it's not clear what it belongs to.

Perhaps the placement of the Gotham Plaza tower was meant to distract the visitors from that vast vacant lot off to the left (World of Food) :D

post-387-0-41272200-1337639054_thumb.jpg

I've never really thought about it before, but its placement does make it seem like it's supposed to be part of the RCA pavilion, doesn't it?

Also interesting to note that the other four pylons were all located outside the entrances to the Fairgrounds, but the Gotham Plaza tower is on the inside...

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Yep, they couldn't mount it outside the G.P. gate, as that would put it on the elevated structure.

The wind load on those babies required ground mounting.

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Perhaps the placement of the Gotham Plaza tower was meant to distract the visitors from that vast vacant lot off to the left (World of Food) :D

post-387-0-41272200-1337639054_thumb.jpg

I've never really thought about it before, but its placement does make it seem like it's supposed to be part of the RCA pavilion, doesn't it?

Also interesting to note that the other four pylons were all located outside the entrances to the Fairgrounds, but the Gotham Plaza tower is on the inside...

Thanks for posting that aerial view. Funny how I am biased to thinking along the axis of the Fountains of the Fair and don't usually picture the adjacency of the Mormon and Gas pavilions, or where Coca Cola was from this vantage point.

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These particular structures have always baffled me.  In the artist's conception, they appear multi-colored.  But in reality, look like large stacks of paper.  They were really unnecessary considering we had the large GF Arches.

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3 hours ago, sunguar said:

These particular structures have always baffled me.  In the artist's conception, they appear multi-colored.  But in reality, look like large stacks of paper.  They were really unnecessary considering we had the large GF Arches.

Maybe they were there as a reference point for fairgoers to locate an entry/exit point to the grounds.

 

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I've always figured they were placed there for aesthetic reasons and really no more.  Having said this, they've always looked cheap to me.  Even the sculpture at the 1939 fair, although temporary, had a much more effective look of permanence. 

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