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Bill Young

Budd Structures from the '39 World's Fair

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OK, Mary Ellen, you now must give a detailed description of what's in #2!!

To answer your question, 1 thru 3 are impossible to find. To recap, there's 1 thru 9, the "Interim Report", and "The Fair in 1965".

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Yeah Mike I go with your count of Progress Reports - 9 issues out before they opened.

I have all but #2 so of course #2 is the toughest to find. ...I do have #1 in soft and Hard cover! Were there hard covers of the later Volumes???

I made it a point a year or so ago to read these reports one by one starting with #1.

That was fun but I missed not having #2.

I'd love to just read it (...for now)!

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In Stanley Applebaum's book, The New York World's Fair 1939/40, there are two photographs of the Budd exhibit area. There is also an aerial shot of the Transportation Zone taken in 1940 and I cannot find a trace of those Budd structures. They just are not there. Something is amiss, I would suggest. In any event, on pages 36 and 37, the photographs are of the so-called weather vane which in truth was a "stainless steel windsock in the area of the Budd Manufacturing Company, producers of lightweight transport units." It is very art deco in style. There is also a photograph of a "stainless steel fountain...also in the Budd area." It, too, is pure art deco. Here's the deal: I cannot see a trace of the Budd structures in the 1940 photograph and the two photos in Applebaum's book refer to the site as the "Budd area." Budd was evidently absent in 1940 and it is possible the structures were removed--no big deal considering the entire Soviet Pavilion was removed in December of 1939. If somebody was writing a reflective article about the long disappeared 1939 Fair and mentioned the "weather vane/windsock" where Budd had stood, why would they not also mention the surviving Budd structure? There were virtually no other tangible structures to touch, to view, to symbolize the beloved, long disappeared Fair. If they were there, they would have been in that article and they would appear in that 1940 photograph. On the other hand, none of this matters except to a 1939 NYWF Fair fan like me. And I wish those structures were still there right now.

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Craig Bavaro has 1, 2 and 3. He visited last fall and brought them along so I know now, for a fact, that they exist. They are hard to find. Hang on to yours Mary Ellen!

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I can't believe I was able to find Progress Report 2. I got it from ebay this year.

Basically, it is not as informative as the other reports due to the fact it was at such an early stage. It is dated May 8, 1961 and is concerned with the dedication of the Unisphere site. There was a large platform erected stating that the Unisphere would be built. It talks about evaluating the Amphitheatre site for projected use duing the Fair. The space allocation plan indicates about 49 committed sites with only seven named: power & light, gas, IBM, GM, Coca Cola, Better Living & Liebman Breweries.

Some of the pavilions depicted in renderings look nothing like their final formations.

The aerial photo shows baseball fields on the east side of the Pool of Industry and a track & field where the tennis stadium now stands. The Budd structures (4) are clearly visible. Acutually there are 3 1/2 of them.

progressreport2.jpg

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Hi All,

1) I have no idea exactly what this thread is about - please - what are we talking about?

2) The 4 bud circular Budd shelters (they were functioning shelters in 1939) are indeed visible in Stanley Applebaum's book - photo (taken 1940) is on page 16. They are just larger than one might think (each 60 ft across) and they are seen a bit on edge but clearly there. The mast was 90ft and the windsock was 80 ft high - in front of the shelters. They are easier to spot after looking at the color 1939 Guidebook map.

3) The 1939 map shows them and the 1940 Official Guidebook Maps them and labels them as Budd. The 1940 map is at the beginning of the Applebaum book.

4) I have at least 1 color slide of this area - windsock and maybe the shelters too, and b/w photos too.

5) The Budd Exhibit was indeed up and running for the 1940 Fair.

Hope this helps whatever it is you guys are talking abt

Aha! You are/were trying to descern if the b/w at the start of this thread was the Budd shelters? Yup, it was. I also gather 3 of the 4 shelters remained until 1963 or there abouts?

BILLY

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If you look at the direct overhead photos above, which date to the years immediately preceding construction for the '64-65 NYWF, you can clearly see just 3 shelters.

The confusion was rumors that there were originally 4 shelters, and we didn't have any '39 or '40 overhead photos to compare to, to see if there was a specific one that got wiped out right after WWII, or something like that.

When this discussion started in other PTU topics four or five years ago, there was very little knowledge about the '39 or '40 Fair, or reference material. Little by little more information has come out that what we saw in those '60 and '61 overhead shots were built by Budd for their exhibit at the earlier Fair.

Still unanswered is why stainless steel structures which looked in the overhead shots to be in great shape, couldn't find use at the second NYWF. They would have had to be relocated probably, since they were sort of in the way of the Ford Pavilion, or the U.N. fountain that was installed nearby. But they could have made a nice structure for something if relocated. Heck, they could have made a nice Mastro Pizza!

And of course we are curious about their earlier use as well. We know that Budd was a manufacturer of those stainless steel streamlined railroad cars, especially the ones with streamlined "rivetless" outer skins in beautiful highly polished aluminum and stainless steel. Some of those cars were on display right there in the Railroad area, weren't they? But Budd also chose to build these structures- out of stainless steel of course- their forte. For what purpose? Did they have booths under there, to hand out promotional pamphlets? Did they serve snacks? Maybe a model railroad with all the scale trains made out of polished aluminum?

That they were still hanging around in 1961 is also curious. Why were they left behind instead of being torn down like most everything else in 1940? You'd think that stainless steel would have been desirable for the war effort. Did they serve as picnic shelters in the late 40's and 50's? Or were they just sitting there with tall grass and weeds growing around them?

Say, wouldn't it be a great story if we found out that they were melted down in something like 1962, and are now part of the Unisphere?

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Hi Randy,

The 4th shelter was removed (when? I don't know) but it was the one closest to the GCP - I guess you know this already. What was under them? Streamlined trains, stainless steel fabrication, a live shot-weld demonstration, a rayon spinning machine, automobile bodies, stainless steel delivery trucks and a lot of other stuff. I wonder why and when the 4th shelter was removed?

MB

PS - They were originally called "umbrellas". I also noticed that Budd is not mentioned in some of the 1939 Guidebooks or the maps in them (although they are shown on the 1939 maps). Wonder why? They are listed as Exhibitors in the index but thats it. I guess the real mystery is - why was just one removed? If we could determine when that might indicate something.

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Hi Randy,

The 4th shelter was removed (when? I don't know) but it was the one closest to the GCP- I guess you know this already.

Actually just about any information about the '39-40 NYWF here on PTU is knowledge growth for many of us, me included. (so don't hesitate to keep sharing it, even though it may be considered common knowledge among the '39-40 fans)

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Hi All,

Have a Budd on me. Look tonight for a killer 1940 olor slide of this area showing a lot of what was being discussed. Just dug it out and am too bleary eyed to scan it now.

Best to all,

MB

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Hi All,

A little late (sorry) and not the best scan for sure - but here is the Budd Image I have in color as promised. I think it is pretty good - a nice, wide view in rich 1940 Kodak emulsion. Shows the stainless steel 60 ft. wide "umbrellas", the exhibit of streamlined trains, the Budd sign and the base of the 80 ft. wind-sock (largest in the world). This is a very tough slide - you really never see Budd anything - this is the only image of it I have seen in 35mm color and I had to have it. Enjoy

buddEKL2006ptu.jpg

Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Exhibit, Transportation Zone (1939), 1940 New York World's Fair © EKL Image Collection

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Nice slide and scan, MB!

I'm not quite sure where the photographer was standing.

Do you think it was perhaps roughly where I stuck either of these two arrows?

The key, I suppose (unless you know exactly how that Budd sign was situated), is the direction the trains are pointed in the background. I thought they pointed directly toward the Budd structures, no?

Budd.jpg

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Hi Randy,

Thanks - thought you'd like it. Scan looks overdone to me - I am really tired. I know my pictures seem to be down - they ought to be up in an hour..sorry. Anyone who saved it is free to repost it if they want.

Dont know if you can see this - but I highlighted with another arrow on your image exactly where this slide was taken, and in what direction. I am trying to find another place to host pictures as we speak...little bit..

BuddRANDY2.jpg

Best,

Eric aka MB

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Thanks again Randy!

As you can see from the arrow, the 1940 image was taken from in front of the pool that was in front of the 4 umbrellas, with the base of the windsock to the left, so we are looking basically NE - in line with Corona Avenue. This odd-shaped pool is visible in the color 1939 Guidebook maps.

MB

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Hi All,

Glad you enjoyed it! You just do not see this area photographed very often - perhaps because the counterpart structure, at the other end of this Avenue of Transportation, was a double prow 90 ft. tall bold blue and very imposing Maritime Building.

Best,

MB

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I'm a little late to the show here. Just became a member. As a kid growing up in Queens in the 1950's, we often went to Flushing Meadows Park. I remember seeing the "Budd Windsock" and those three round structures. I recall the structure roofs were rusted by then. They looked so weird and out of place to a kid. My parents told me they were from the World's Fair. They were soon to be removed for the next fair which I attended many times including opening day. I wonder what became of the windsock? Probably scrap. Thanks for the memories.

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Hi, James. Glad you found us. Any chance you have any pictures from those visits? I've never seen shots of the Budd area between fairs.

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