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Bill Cotter

World of Food Pavilion

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This construction photo has a very unusual item in it - the World of Food Pavilion! The steel framework is on the bottom left just before the Mormon Pavilion.Here's a story that explains part of the battle that went on before the Fair eventually prevailed and was allowed to tear it down: http://www.worldsfairphotos.com/nywf64/articles/ny-times/3-6-64-world-food.pdf. The steel was hauled off to storage in Brooklyn where it lay during a series of battles deciding who was at fault for the failure to finish the pavilion. The Fair won and sold it off as scrap metal. The resulting empty lot was a bit of an embarrassment for the Fair, being one of the first plots just inside the main entrance.

world-of-food.jpg

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It's a little known fact that the Fair Corporation really went to great lengths to give the World of Food exhibitors every opportunity to finish their pavilion. This included negotiating a number of contract extensions/modifications with the backers while they tried to line up additional financing to complete the pavilion. Ultimately, Fair officials resorted to having someone from the Engineering Department go out to their building site every day for months to complete a daily progress report on the construction of the pavilion. These reports often included remarks made by the onsite construction contractor and included taking photos of the site. In the end, it was those reports and photos that convinced Fair officials that this pavilion would not be completed and thus the Fair Corporation had no choice but to find them in default and terminate their Participation Agreement. During this period, Fair Officials were also very concerned with what impact the contract termination would have on the firms that had already signed up to be exhibitors in the pavilion. After determining that most of them could be accommodated in other multi-exhibitor pavilions (such as the Better Living Center, which in turn may have saved that pavilion, since they also had financial challenges), their fate was sealed and the steel came down.

 

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Thanks, Craig. I knew the Fair really didn't want to have that big empty spot right inside the main entrance. Given how far behind the building was and with their financial woes I guess tearing it down was the only real option.

It's interesting that the World of Food is not on my Time-Life map hanging over my desk but the "Mississippi River Showboat" is. They obviously had time to remove Food, but they left the boat on this version. I can't think of anything showing that the boat ever progressed past the earliest of concept stages, yet it's still on the map. Surely by the time Food was dead the boat had to have been as well. Weird.

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