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Plans For Proposed Southern California World's Fair At Long Beach

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Long Beach, California was the proposed site for the Southern California World's Fair (sometimes referred to as The Planet Of Man Exposition) scheduled to run for 184 days in 1966 and 184 days in 1967 (later changed to 1967 and 1968) with an estimated attendance of 36,000,000.  Attached are some site plans and pavilion designs that were assembled in 1962, which might account for the potential overlap with Expo 67 in Montréal (which originally had been scheduled for Moscow but was ultimately awarded to Montréal in 1963)  and HemisFair '68 in San Antonio.

The fair was to be held on the newly constructed Pier J in the Los Angeles Harbor with plans for many of the structures to be used as port facilities at the fair's close.

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This is the fair's logo, emphasizing Southern California and Long Beach as a hub for rail, shipping and the aircraft industry.  The fair's theme was to have been "World Peace Through World Trade."  McDonnell Douglas was a major employer in Long Beach at the time and the final assembly plant for the DC-8 and DC-9 commercial airplanes was located in the north part of the city.

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Key to Site Plan       COLOR KEY:  YELLOW - FEDERAL & STATE;  BLUE - FOREIGN;  GREY - INDUSTRIAL;  GREEN - AMUSEMENT

A. MONORAIL  The monorail was to be a high-speed system with several stops within the fairgrounds.  It would have passed over the Magnolia Street Bridge and circled the Rainbow Pier area of downtown Long Beach.  The Rainbow Pier area would have been the fair's primary parking facility.

B.  FERRY BOATS  Ferry boats would have run continuously between fair entrances and parking lots.  The main ferry terminal was to be on the west tip of the site to assure uniform of visitors throughout the site.

C.  ELEVATED ROADWAY  Rubber-tired trams would have run above pedestrian traffic on an elevated roadway system.  Operating speeds were to have been relatively slow, sloping down to grade at stations to receive and discharge visitors.

D.  GROUND LEVEL ROADWAY  A tram system was to have operated along some streets at grade level providing localized service  within the fair's various sectors.  They would have been functionally separated from pedestrian traffic with a variety of smaller vehicles acting as taxis for personalized tours of the grounds.

E.  CANAL BOATS  These would have provided water vistas and leisurely scenic rides through the central portion of the grounds.

F.  SERVICE AND EMERGENCY  These roads at the edge of the inner wharf would have provided service and emergency vehicle routing with minimum exposure to pedestrian traffic. 

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Primary Structures

1.  FAIR-BUILT EXHIBIT BUILDINGS

2.  TRANSPORTATION TERMINAL

3.  THEME STRUCTURE

4.  INTERNATIONAL THEME PAVILION

5.  FINE ARTS PAVILION

6.  SERVICE BUILDINGS

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Theme Structure and Transportation Terminal

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Two views of the Elevated Roadway.  It appears the accordion roof panels could have been opened or closed depending on the weather.

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Two views of the site with modifications.  It appears the canal system has given way to a more unstructured series of lagoons.

Key to Modified Site Plan    STRUCTURES 1-6 DESIGNED TO BE ADAPTED TO PORT OF LOS ANGELES USE WHEN FAIR CLOSED

1.  FAIR-BUILT EXHIBIT BUILDING

2.  FAIR-BUILT SPIRAL EXHIBIT BUILDING

3.  FAIR-BUILT MARINE TRANSPORTATION TERMINAL

4.  FAIR-BUILT RESTAURANT COMPLEX

5.  FAIR-BUILT FOREIGN EXHIBIT PALACE

6.  TRANSIT SHED EXHIBIT BUILDING

____________

A.  OVERHEAD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

B.  BUS TERMINAL

C.  SERVICE BUILDINGS

E.  EXHIBIT BUILDINGS

G.  FOCAL POINT EXECUTIVE BUILDING

H.  SERVICE ROAD

P.   AUTOMOBILE AND BUS ENTRANCE AND PARKING

R.   RAIL LINES

Y.  YACHT CLUB

MA  MARINA

K.  SPACE FOUNTAIN

SA  MONORAIL AND OVERHEAD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM INTERCHANGE 

 

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Unfortunately, no description is given of this view.  The building at the left appears to be the same structure described below.

 

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Fair-built exhibit building designated on Site Plan as #1.  "This building is composed of two triangular masses poised against one another.  The large expanses of the northern and southern faces of the building unimpeded by ornamentation provide a striking contrast to the landscape around it.  The meandering lagoon winds its way around the supports of the structure enhancing the open air impression of the interior.  An open court at the core of the building is designed to allow daylight to filter from above casting shadows and projected highlights, thereby creating an illusion of perpetual change of mood.

Moving sidewalks and ramps connect the upper floors to the elevated transportation corridors that penetrate the building.  The base, which occupies only a small portion of the site permits visitors greater freedom of movement within the grounds and lends greater emphasis to the beauty of the open vistas."

 

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Fair-built restaurant and exhibit building shown as #4 on the Site Plan.  "The form of this impressive building is based on the configuration of an octahedron and has the appearance of being delicately balanced on a pedestal.  Dramatic impressions are given by the extreme contrast of light and shade between the upper and lower faces of the building.  The masses, in harmony with other buildings are simple in form and will present a dramatic picture against both the day and night sky.  Dining areas which overlook the fair, harbor activity and expanses of surrounding ocean with its myriad of small vessels and sailing boats sweeping past the pier provide guests with a beautiful panorama and an unforgettable experience."

 

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Refreshment areas.  "Throughout the fair visitors will find the need for refreshments and a short interlude for the resting of weary feet.  The snack bar shown in this sketch is composed of several modular units which may be organized into a great variety of shapes in optimum with the location of the site and the sculpturesque qualities of the landscape.  The units are designed to obtain the maximum about of natural light and present an atmosphere of open air freedom, thereby enabling the visitor to enjoy the natural light of his surroundings."

 

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Proposed ferries and water taxis.

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Wow!!!  Awesome!   I had no idea about this. 

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Pretty amazing!  Too bad it was never staged. :(

Long Beach DID, however, host the Pacific Southwest Exposition (a mini World's Fair) during the summer of 1928, on a site north-west of the proposed site of the 1967-68 World's Fair.

Here is a link to my Blog-page where I did a series of blogs on the 1928 exposition several years ago:

http://expoguy2.blogspot.com/2009/01/long-beach-1928-pacific-southwest.html

 

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