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I just found this site, one of the best I have discovered in a long time.

http://peirce.fotki.com/ny_worlds_fair_1964-1965/

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Those are excellent photographs. The shot of the Unisphere is impressive. However, I am curious about the Coventry Cross. I know the story of the cathedral, its destruction during WW2 and the cross that was made from the ruins and placed on the main altat, but I did not realize that there was such an exhibit at the NYWF. Where was it located? Was it a separate exhibit or a part of another pavilion?

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The cross was at the Protestant and Orthodox Center. Here's two other views:

#1 - Sep 1964

nywf-coventry-2.jpg

#2 - May 1965

nywf-coventry.jpg

The lettering looks a bit worse!

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Great photos, but the color on some of them makes me grind my teeth - Lots of blue, some pink, and the greenery is dark and bluish. Do you suppose this is a best-effort restoration of some badly faded pix? I think Bill Cotter's efforts are much better in the color department.

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It's interesting that the Protestant Center groundbreaking booklet (November '62) makes no mention of the Coventry Cross.

And the official P&O Center hardbound book, which I believe is from early '64 (Orthodox is now "in", but two of the denominations were such late additions that they are only explained as 'late additions' in the foreward), makes no mention of it either.

Maybe it was a last minute addition, or added after the Fair was already in progress.

I believe I read somewhere that the cross shown in these pictures is indeed from the burnt timbers of the bombed Coventry Cathedral, but it is not the same one which was erected on the altar in Coventry after the end of the war.

Has anybody else read this?

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Hey Bill, I see that you 'photoshopped' out the September 1964 apparition of the Virgin Hilda of the Bronx!

(Hilda only made her appearances to devout Protestants, since the Catholics had their own miracles in the works over at their own Pavilion....)

Fortunately, I'm armed with the advanced reverse-Photoshop software, whereby I can restore Hilda to her proper place in history, peeking over the wall.

10_Protestant_and_Orthodox_Center.jpg

(actually, I scanned the slide myself before passing it on to Bill... )

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Bill's mention of the lettering looking a bit worse made me take a closer look, and I put together this interesting sequence....

August '64- the cross-timber is a bit crooked, the silver letters of Coventry Charred Cross look okay, but the silver letters on the wall are missing the th in Father...

Coventry1.jpg

slightly different angle by the same photographer, same day- reveals that the g in Forgive is missing too...

Coventry2.jpg

undated photo from Pierce Behrendt- the silver letters on the back wall look okay, but Coventry Charred Cross has obvious problems...

Coventry3.jpg

closeup:

Coventry3a.jpg

September '64- the 'Hilda' photo- the silver letters have been replaced by new gold letters, apparently without refinishing the surface where the previous letters left their 'mark'. The full 'Hilda' photo above reveals that the wooden cross-timber has been straightened as well.

Coventry4.jpg

May '65- after exposure to a New York winter, here we go again. Cross is dropping its letters again. At least the wooden cross-timber has remained level.

Coventry5.jpg

Closeup:

Coventry5a.jpg

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Great photos, but the color on some of them makes me grind my teeth - Lots of blue, some pink, and the greenery is dark and bluish.  Do you suppose this is a best-effort restoration of some badly faded pix?  I think Bill Cotter's efforts are much better in the color department.

I actually wrote to him once and volunteered my services but never heard back from him. I don't know how he scanned them but my tests show many of them could be fixed fairly easily.

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Hi All,

this makes me think of the sculpture by Augusta Savage - Lift Up Every Voice - that was just outside the Contemporary Arts Building in 1939. People kept stealing the plaque from the mans hands! Very hard to find a nice photo of this sculpture.

Best,

Billy

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I actually wrote to him once and volunteered my services but never heard back from him. I don't know how he scanned them but my tests show many of them could be fixed fairly easily.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah - I don't have Photoshop on my work computer here (I'm in LV for the NAB convention), but I have something called Ulead Photo Impact. Some tone curve adjustment on the blue channel (bringing down the mids) and maybe a little on the green does wonders. Well, I'm not going to waste my time (except maybe on the RCA shot, my favorite topic.)

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Regarding the Gotham Plaza/RCA pic (#5 of 89):

Can anyone help date this? Previous pix I have seen from '64 had wording on the RCA sign saying "Communications Center" and ones from '65 had "see yourself". I think this is the first one I've seen with three lines all saying "Color Television" in some way. Also, the line of people is long - many other pix have no real line, although a few do.

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Great site. Get a load of photo #58. Tons of people by the Astral Fountain. What the heck was going on that day?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Could this be closing day?

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Regarding the Gotham Plaza/RCA pic (#5 of 89):

Can anyone help date this?  Previous pix I have seen from '64 had wording on the RCA sign saying "Communications Center" and ones from '65 had "see yourself".  I think this is the first one I've seen with three lines all saying "Color Television" in some way. Also, the line of people is long - many other pix have no real line, although a few do.

Here are a few shots, Wayne.

First, Pierce's original photo:

nywf-rca-2.jpg

and a quickly corrected version. The results would be better with a new scan, but it doesn't look too bad.

nywf-rca-3.jpg

Here's another view showing the same signage:

nywf-rca-1.jpg

One small change noted - the red letter Cs in Pierce's picture are now all black. This is one of my favorite shots of the area, by the way.

And finally, a view of different signage:

nywf-rca-4.jpg

Regards

Bill

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Pictures of Gotham Plaza often are not too hard to date as to year, because there is usually so much activity that year-specific things can be found.

For instance:

It's been said that the Greyhound Escorters were 'retired' after the '64 season. This was a major pickup & dropoff point for both Escorters and Glide-a-Rides.

If you don't see an Escorter in the picture it's not conclusive, but if you DO see an Escorter it's an indicator that it's 1964.

There were plenty of kiosks in the plaza which sold the Guidebooks.

These kiosks also displayed large cardboard reproductions of the Guidebook cover on the side of the kiosk. The '64 Guidebook cover was white with multicolor letters, and the '65 Guidebook cover was red with a diagonal band across it.

Furthermore, this was probably the leading location for Guidebook sales (as people arrived) so there are often lots of people in pictures with them in their hand, or standing their studying the contents to decide what to see first. Find a Guidebook, and you can figure out the year.

Until recently all the '64 pictures of the RCA pavilion I'd seen showed the front facade to be 'clean', while '65 pictures showed that they planted ivy on the roof and let it drape way down over the front.

But the picture that Bill shared here (with the Army guys standing in the foreground) is clearly '64 (Escorter present, Guidebook clearly '64, and I happen to know that on the next photo on the same roll of film, the message board on the General Foods Arch right next to RCA can be clearly read as August 9, 1964), and if you look close the ivy has been added! So apparently they added that ivy midway through the '64 season.

In the 1965 photos I've seen, RCA built a roof for the waiting line right in front of their entrance. So visitors waiting in the qeue could be shielded from the rain & sun. And signboards with lots of pictures hung off the side of the qeue so that those waiting could look (and I suppose read about) RCA stuff while they were working their way through the line. To this point all '64 photos I've seen do not have the qeue roof or the signboards, and all the '65 photos do.

By the way, the RCA sign had three sides. I found a photo or two revealing the underside of the sign- how it was attached- and it confirms that it was NOT able to rotate. So it might also be possible to date photos from what was shown on each of the other three sides, not just the one that faced the entrance ramp.

Unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of such photos that we've seen to this point- I've just seen two or three.

An April '64 picture showing the side facing down the Avenue of the Americas has the board blank- no letters at all! But you can barely see a bit of the board facing the ramp side and it seems to have the same lettering we've seen on other photos from early '64- the OFFICIAL COLOR TV COMMUNICATIONS CENTER message in all black letters.

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Great site!

Another way to get a rough estimate on the dates of photos is to look at what the people are wearing - heavy coats probably indicate either April/early May or late Sept/Oct. The leaves on the trees (or lack of them) can also be a guide. This obviously doesn't tell you if it is '64 or '65, but as Randy mentions, there are usually other clues around to help figure that out.

Also, does anybody know why IBM would be flying a 48-Star US Flag (the one on the left)?

http://peirce.fotki.com/ny_worlds_fair_1964-1965/070_ibm.html

I've checked all my other photos of the IBM Pavilion, but this is the only one showing this particular flag.

Best Regards,

Kevin

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Just noticed that in pic#3 the girl in the white sweater on the left is clutching a hardback Official Souvenir Guide. And what on earth is going on in #17 with that 2-tone hair?! I don't EVER remember anything like that back in the mid 60s.

Check out that pile of Greyhound friction toys behind the Golden Girl in #43.

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The blond streak was very popular with the local teens; the girl in photo #17 must have been from Brooklyn.

What floored me was that Federico Fellini was at the Fair as photo #22 shows.

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What floored me was that Federico Fellini was at the Fair as photo #22 shows.

If the date on Hollywood 'handprint' square is correct, he was there six days before the Fair opened its gates to the public. Sounds strange, doesn't it?

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The Academy Awards (the "Oscars") were April 13, 1964 in Santa Monica, and Fellini was nominated for best director and best screenplay (he won neither), and best foreign film (he did win that).

Maybe he stopped off in New York on his way back home.

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Here's a laugh-

Fellini had to go to New York to get his hand print in the cement outside the Chinese Theater-

he never made in front of the real one-

http://www.hollywoodusa.co.uk/mapofhandprints.htm

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