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bobster1985

Missed opportunity

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That is a very illuminating article. The reference to the NYWF as a "huckster's brew" hits a nerve but the author's praise for the US pavilions in Brussels and Montreal is well stated. And I know that it is something like heresy but for the enormous sum spent on the US pavilion in New York, it did not measure up to the 1958 or 1976 achievements. The author calls it "perfectly useless and pretentiously awful." That's harsh, but architectural critics can be a tough crowd to please and in 1968, when this article was published, the US pavilion was one huge empty space with no future prospects. I did not realize what was originally planned for Osaka but I don't know if the design pictured here is all that hot. It's grandiose and unusual but that doesn't make it good.

The pavilion the US did build never looked too impressive. It reminded me of a bomb shelter and I remember it was widely criticized. The Soviets returned to the idea of a soaring tower and that was in stark contrast to the below ground US structure.

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I thought the U.S. Pavilion in '64-65 was just adequate, certainly nothing inspiring, but that pretty much sums up U.S. architecture during the '60s. It wasn't a golden age of architecture, to put it kindly.

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I agree, bobster, although Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome in Montreal was impressive as far as exposition pavilions are concerned.

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The 64-65 US Pavilion might not have been overly aesthetically inspiring at a great distance (resembling a 'box'), but as you got closer you could see that it really pushed the envelope in the use of extremely cantilevered trusses. That resulted in a look that the huge building was floating, especially when you got to the top of the stairs or escalators where bridges connected to the "floating" building. There were huge areas of the building with no support at all directly underneath. And at night I have to say those blue & green backlit panels were pretty pleasing to the eye. I think it beat the 1958 U.S. Pavilion design hands down.

The dome in '67 was also impressive, but in a completely different way.

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