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Randy Treadway

TiSL a smashing success!

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What's a TiSL you ask? Well, after several successful SiPs (Saturday in the Park [FMCP] get-togethers) and a resoundingly successful inaugural SiLA (Saturday in L.A.) last month for a group of PTUers to get together & chew the fat, show & tell, get an Escorter horn to work, etc, John McSweeny and I decided it was time to have a 'Tuesday in St. Louis'- specifically to give the Spain Pavilion (in its current Marriott Downtown Hotel incarnation) a good going over and see if we could find any World's Fair legacies.

I picked up John at the airport this evening, having flown in myself yesterday, and took him and two of his professional acquaintances (John and they are in town for an annual medical conference) to their hotel downtown to check in. Then he and I went over to the Spain Pavilion / Marriott intending to have dinner in their Pavilion Restaurant (that's actually what they call it). Only it was closed, because it was already after 9pm. So we walked a block away to a good Grill restaurant and had dinner. Then we walked back to the Spain Pavilion / Marriott and proceeded to 'help ourselves' to exploring the premises for about an hour and a half, until it was around 11pm.

I have 23 good photos of what we found. John took quite a few too. I'll post mine here tomorrow, with accompanying narration / explanations. It's now 1:45 am, and I've got my OWN business conference to attend at 8am. (I may be typing on the laptop during conference breaks to get you the TiSL scoop as time allows. )

In the meantime, to set you to salivating in anticipation- the big questions are 'is the building unrecognizable', and 'did we find any original World's Fair legacies'? The answer is, the building is quite recognizable as the Spain Pavilion, especially the exterior, and the interior too if you know what you're looking at. It took me about 20 minutes to get acclimated inside and then bingo, the light bulb came on in the old brain and things started to fall in place. YES, we discovered SEVERAL things from the World's Fair, several of them a complete surprise. In fact the last one (just as we were leaving) caused my jaw to drop I was so astounded to find it!

You want clues, you say? Here's one. "Her name starts with the letter I."

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I'm on a lunchtime break. Here's the first two pictures.

As we parked the rental car (about 9:30pm), the unmistakable facade of the Spain Pavilion was pretty obvious. Only, there are two huge 25-story towers rising up above (with the Marriott name in neon). I wondered how the structural steel for a two story building could support a 25-story tower. (I would discover how!)

It was freezing cold and the only people out this time of night were a bum and one or two people scurring along.

John and I set to taking pictures from the sidewalk across the street, which probably looked kind of weird.

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Similar view of the facade in early 1964 at the World's Fair

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We went inside to eat dinner in the Pavilion Restaurant, but it was already closed for the evening, so we left to go to a restaurant about a block away, then came back after eating dinner.

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Are the steps leading down to the restaurant level the same interior configuration as at the World's Fair? Was there a restaurant located in this locale in '64-65 as well? We need more '64-65 interior photos, maps, etc., to figure that out.

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Just inside the hotel lobby, looking toward the front desk. The main entrance is a corner entrance to the left of the front desk. To the right are more doors that lead past a Kinko's copy center just inside the doors (more about that later). Further to the right you can see a bank of pay phones. More about that too.

At this point I wasn't sure what was where, relative to the World's Fair building configuration. But the interior is loaded with Spanish decor, especially the light fixtures. Is any of it from the World's Fair? Don't know, but probably not. I did NOT see those light cubes suspended from the ceiling that they had at the Fair. My guess is those were intended to spotlight objects of art, and weren't needed in a hotel lobby setting.

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This fountain is in the lobby, on the far left of the first picture. Again, not sure if it was at the Fair, but who knows?

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Taking a few steps south inside the lobby, the ceiling opened up into an atrium area. Now we were getting somewhere. I remembered that the Spain Pavilion had an open air atrium where performing dancers did their thing on a low stage. But what's that big white column in the picture, and why is there other structural stuff in the middle of what had been the atrium? And the 'atrium' is now enclosed from the elements a couple of floors up.

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When I got back to the hotel last night I was able to find a 1965 view taken from roughly the same position in the atrium area, pointing toward the same corner of the building. The most obvious differences today are the absence of the stone murals around the atrium, now opened up, and the enclosed second floor has now been opened up with balconies.

1964-05-03-07_Spain_Pavilion.jpg

Here's a 1965 overhead view from the Swiss Sky Ride. You can see the open-air atrium.

19_Spain_Pavilion_from_Swiss_Sky_Ride.jpg

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Next John and I were poking around the large lobby looking at stuff and trying to figure out if anything might be from the World's Fair, and I glanced down a narrow aisleway to a little niche area just past that bank of pay phones.

Bingo!!!! I quickly motioned to John to come over and told him "look, I think it might be the Queen Isabella statue from the World's Fair!!! We walked up to take a closer look. I admitted I might be wrong, but it sure looks like the same statue, but I'd have to take a picture and compare it to one of the World's Fair photos. I also poked all around in that 'foliage' at the statue's base, looking for any placard or anything with the statue's name, the artist, the year, etc. But alas, nothing. I recalled seeing somewhere that the Queen Isabella statue was sculpted/cast as a commission especially for the Spain Pavilion for the '64-65 World's Fair.

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When I got back to my hotel, I checked, and....

drumroll please.... WOOOHOOOO! Houston I think we have a match. Well maybe.

Either she got beat up in the shipping, losing the points on her crown and the bird that she was holding, or this is a sort of duplicate (poorer) casting from the same master mold. But quite obviously it's from the same artist.

At the World's Fair it was outdoors, as seen here in 1964.

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I painstakingly compared both of these photos in high resolution, inch by inch. All the markings are basically the same, although the St. Louis one seems to be a little bit smoother, as if 'rubbed' over the years. And that damaged or modified crown stands out.

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Great work (as usual) Randy! Finally solved the riddle of the missing legacy in St. Louis. The bigger question is how (and perhaps why) did they move such a structure all the way from NYC to the Midwest? Does anyone know how it was constructed? Was it designed in a modular fashion for just such a move post-fair in the first place? Or was it something that was moved anyway, even though maybe not exactly the most economical idea?

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Just a few feet from those stairs leading down a few steps from the lobby to the Pavilion Restaurant, John and I found this intriguing sign next to a set of escalators leading up to the second floor. Now to a World's Fair buff, is a sign like that and working escalators an enticing invitation or what? You bet. Second floor, here we come!!!

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This is another case of 'were there escalators at this location when the Pavilion was at the World's Fair?' More info needed of course, as to the World's Fair configuration and photos. I suspect they wouldn't be these EXACT escalators anyway, with all that polished brass.

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And what did we find at the top of the escalator? All ballrooms; no hotel rooms. It looks like they converted the entire second floor into a big 'convention center'.

Here we found the Pavilion Ballroom, by far the biggest room in the hotel. And how did we find that out?.........

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....we found that out because the next thing we spotted was this signboard, fairly typical of hotel ballroom facilities to welcome whatever group is renting the room that day....but in this case, hold onto your seats....MAPS of both the first and second floor. Another "woo hoo" discovery, because this makes it possible to 'file away' the current layout maps in order to some day overlay it on top of a World's Fair area pavilion map to see all the differences and where all the walls align. I suspect such a map may be in the Official Spain Pavilion Guide, which I've tried several times for on eBay but always get outbid. Mike K. or any of you others- do you have this Spain Pavilion Guide, and if so can you check to see if there are any Pavilion maps in it that you could share, for comparison to these photos?

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And did we capture closer versions of each floor's map that can be read? Of course, I wouldn't travel 2,500 miles each way to just get a blurry picture! (well yes, Boeing sent me to St. Louis for a different reason, but what they don't know about secondary agendas doesn't hurt them! Ha!)

First floor:

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Second floor:

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Before we went back down the escalator I took this picture of another sign with a bunch of Pavilion references. Not sure what the Pavilion Suites are. Maybe a VIP conference area.

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Before we went back down the escalator, we noticed a hallway which led somewhere, and of course we HAD to take a look. And bingo, where did it lead but to the 2nd floor balcony around the atrium!

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At this point I could see the whole atrium layout and it finally dawned on me what they'd done. One of those 25-story towers (all the hotel rooms!) was built centered exactly in the atrium! They built the tower (in 1973 we found out before leaving) on top of four newly installed corner pillars, with the tower proper beginning on the '3rd floor level', and put an elevator shaft right up the middle from the lobby shooting straight up the tower. You can see the elevator shaft in the above picture, and one of the four big support pillars. The pillars broaden out much wider where they go through the 'atrium ceiling' at the top of the second floor. But basically the tower is completely 'free standing' with its own support structure INSIDE the confines of that atrium!!

They added a second tower in the late 70's, but apparently it was built just OUTSIDE the Pavilion proper.

For comparison, here's a 1965 view from the second floor looking down into the atrium. No elevator shaft, no support pillars. Just a stage for the dancers.

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©Bill Cotter, Set 54, Picture #025

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One of the things I was on the lookout for was some kind of plaque or other acknowledgement by Marriott of the origins of the building being the Spain Pavilion in New York at the World's Fair. But I was surprised to not find anything like that. Back down on the ground floor we puttered around for awhile looking to find any plaques like that, and exploring hallways to see if we'd missed anything.

I finally spotted a plaque and motioned John to come over. It did indeed cite the history of this site, but the 18th Century history. Apparently this was the site of something called Fort San Carlos. I was disappointed but took a picture anyway.

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We rounded another corner and found an interesting looking staircase that looks 60's vintage. That's John in the 'World's Fair urban archeologist explorer' trenchcoat.

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Don't know if the staircase is a World's Fair original, but I took a picture just in case.

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At that point, looking up the staircase I could see an interesting light fixture of mediterranean styling. World's Fair? Don't know, but worth a photo.

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And with an enticing fixture like that we had to see what was up THIS staircase!

It only went up HALF a floor and was on top of the Pavilion Restaurant which was sunken down half a level (remember those stairs to the restaurant that went down).

More ballrooms. All of these had names out of the state department, like Diplomat Room, Envoy Room, Senator Room, Consul Room, etc. I took this photo of some intricately carved wooden panel doors on the Consul Room. Again- World's Fair vintage??? Probably not, but could be...

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Finally, we noticed it was well past 11 and we decided to call it an evening since both of us had 8am meetings to attend. Since we'd come in the main entrance in the corner of the building, I suggested we exit out the side door past that Kinko's Copy center, out onto the side street. On that 1st floor map, Kinko's is referred to as the "Business Center". I thought maybe we could take a last photo or two of the exterior from a slightly different angle.

We walked out the door and John wanted to walk up to the corner to look down the back street (next to Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play).

I started to follow but had just stepped onto the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps when I noticed what looked like a plaque in the shadows. I called to John- "hey come look at this!!".

It was the plaque we'd been looking for!

It the dim light of the street lamp we strained to read it. In this photo, my flash lit it up.

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All right, now my evening was made. What more could top that? Plenty, as it turns out! As I lowered my camera I just happened to glance into the shadowy wall back behind the lower wall where the plaque was mounted.

And that's when my jaw dropped!! I recognized it instantly. And I told John that was DEFINITELY at the World's Fair, no ifs ands or buts about it!!! It's the stained glass art wall! From the inside it provided some of the most beautiful blue reflected light at the World's Fair- rivaling any stained glass the Vatican Pavilion or Hall of Science or P&O Center could offer.

Again, my flash lit it up MUCH more than we could see with the naked eye under the dim street lamp. Yet, I was absolutely certain this was the World's Fair stained glass.

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After explaining about the stained glass to John, it dawned on me....the inside of this wall is in that Kinko's Center! We just HAD to go back inside and see if one of Kinko's walls is the beautiful stained glass which would glow with a great blue light in the daytime.

So we went back inside. Kinko's was closed, but the lights were on and we could see inside. What a bummer! Just a blank white wallboarded wall! No stained glass. They covered it up! Maybe they don't realize what a treasure they have if they would just uncover the inside of that wall!!!!

Anyway, here's some views of what the inside of that stained glass produced during the World's Fair. You can see that it's exactly the same design that we saw last night on that outside wall here in St. Louis.

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Life Magazine, August 7, 1964 [the issue referred to on the plaque]

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Just think, all these precious Salvador Dali jewels were shown right inside what is today Kinko's!! And they don't even realize it.

That's it folks! The Spain Pavilion...er, Marriott Downtown Hotel, St. Louis. Worth a stop to check it out when you're in St. Louis.

John's hotel is just one block away, so he was going to try to go back today to take some daytime pictures.

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What surprised me was how long it took to get photos posted here at PTU of the Spanish Pavilion’s new home.

What didn’t surprise me was that Randy would head the team to do it.

Thanks…and hope to see John McSweeny’s photos soon.

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It is good to know that there is a clear statement, in that structure, as to its history as a world's fair pavilion. It makes me wonder if the Austrian Pavilion, which is now a ski lodge near Jamestown, New York, has a similar indication of its previous purpose in life.

Thank you for sharing this most interesting information.

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Just got home from the airport. A few minutes ago on the plane I was poring through Spain Pavilion photos from '64-65 one more time to see if I can find anything I just saw in St. Louis.

I found some photos that show the outside of the stained glass window.

It looks like when they reassembled it in St. Louis, they put it exactly where it was in New York, relative to the corner "main entrance".

But in St. Louis they put in a much lower retaining wall next to the sidewalk, so you can see it a lot better than in New York (see picture). In fact, in St. Louis that's where they put in a wheelchair ramp, so you could walk right up to the stained glass and check it out 'up-close-and-personal'.

Too bad they totally covered it up inside that Kinko's on the other side of the wall!

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©Wolfe slide 79142

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©Bill Cotter, Set 65, Picture #006

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Wow! Totally cool stuff.

Maybe someone could show the Kinko's people what a beautiful treasure they have. Obviously they don't have a clue. It might prompt them to open up their side of the wall. It's just a thought. I believe in the "you just never know" theory.

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For more information on the Queen Isabella statue, I broke out a separate new topic- follow-up discussion on Isabella can be posted there-

http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/index.php?showtopic=3863

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I searched the New York Times database for articles about the Spanish Pavilion's move from New York to St. Louis, and found a couple of interesting stories.

"A granite stone from the tomb of Queen Isabella of Spain was presented to the City of St. Louis today for the cornerstone of the Spanish Pavilion in St. Louis....Spain has given her New York World's Fair pavilion to St. Louis for reconstruction as a civic center in St. Louis." [NYT 10/08/1966]

There was a much longer article about the former pavilion published in the Times four years later, entitled "New York World's Fair Hit Turns Into St. Louis Fiasco."

The article calls the pavilion "St. Louis's newest white elephant...transplanted from New York's 1964-65 World's Fair at a cost of nearly $6-million."

"Closed April 20 after less than a year of debt-ridden operation, the pavilion is now entangled in a legal jungle of suits and counter suits that may keep it shut for years...."

The idea of moving the pavilion to St. Louis came from mayor Alfonso J. Cervantes who "promptly set out to raise the millions to move and rebuild the pavilion here. When the fund drive fell far short of its goal, he decided to go ahead anyway...."

"The pavilion finally opened in May, 1969, with 10 days of festivities....The Mayor, calling it the most enthusiastic, responsive people's project in the history of any city, dubbed the building The People's Pavilion.

"But the people stayed away. Although a research concern projected 2,250,000 visitors a year, only 450,000 showed up between May and December...

"All three restaurants in the pavilion lost money, particularly the elegant Toledo...

"Manuel Ortuno, who presided over both the Pavilion's extravagant success in New York and its disaster here, shook his head recently and said: 'People here just don't go out at night. They go to work, then they go home, drink beer and watch baseball.'

"But Marvin Klaman, lawyer for the savings and loan association that now controls the empty building, says the old management ran the pavilion as 'a country club for aficionados.'..."

The article goes on to mention that Mayor Cervantes also purchased the reproduction of the Santa Maria from the World's Fair for $375,000. "In April, 1969, the 90-foot vessel was open to the public at a berth in the Mississippi below Eero Saarinen's towering Gateway Arch. But two months later, a violent storm swept her from her mooring and she sank several miles downstream just off the Illinois shore...[T]his week the still unfloatable ship will go back on the riverfront -- this time cradled on a steel framework between two barges that will also serve as a souvenir shop, snack bar and restaurant. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch denounced the project as a 'cheap, honky-tonk, carnivalized tourist trap.'" [NYT 06/30/1970]

Whatever became of the Santa Maria?

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Whatever became of the Santa Maria?

Completely repaired and restored (I have quite a few photos of the entire salvage & repair/restoration), it was moved back to the riverfront, but this time NOT lashed to the riverboat. It included a snack & souvenir shack built on a floating barge next to the Santa Maria.

It still lost money.

In about 1973 the Santa Maria Corp. (who had bought the wreck for ONE DOLLAR and invested muchoo $$$ to restore) decided to move it to Titusville, Florida and see if more tourists would come see it there.

Pulled by tugboat down the Mississippi toward the Gulf, the Santa Maria made it okay but the barge with the snack shack (which they decided to bring along) hit a sandbar and went to Davey Jones' locker (deep-sixed). They abandoned it.

The Santa Maria lost money in Florida too. People just weren't that interested.

In 1974 a mysterious fire started in the forward hold, where it was said a painting operation was underway- the fire started in off-hours when the painters weren't there. It quickly spread and engulfed the ship. Firemen sprayed water on it for hours but the ship was consumed. Fireman blamed an inability to get hoses down into the hold of the ship. I've got a newspaper photo showing the Santa Maria on fire too.

After all the money-losing operations, common sense (30 years later) points to insurance arson.

I'll re-post the photos-

http://www.peacethroughunderstanding.org/i...6&st=0&p=26821&

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Wow!  Totally cool stuff.

Maybe someone could show the Kinko's people what a beautiful treasure they have.  Obviously they don't have a clue.  It might prompt them to open up their side of the wall.  It's just a thought.  I believe in the "you just never know" theory.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just discovered this thread. Randy, I really enjoyed reading your story and seeing the pictures of the Marriott/Spain Pavilion. It was a great reminder of that evening in February and what we found.

I went back on Thursday at about noon and took a few more pictures of the exterior, which, as you know, I posted on my original thread - Legacy in St, Louis One shot is at almost the same angle that Bill's NYWF64 picture is and you can clearly see that the basic configuation of the pavilion has been retained. I actually had a need to use the Kinko's on that day and can confirm that the glass has been covered over. My guess is that this was done by the hotel so that the wall could be insulated. Leaving it as a bare wall might have been expensive. In addition, during the winter the wall would be quite cold and probably would be uncomfortable to sit next to. I do agree that this is very unfortunate from an aesthetic point of view. All in all, however, the Spanish pavilion seems to be well used and well taken care of.

Thanks again Randy for the ride and company, as well as for this thread!

John

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