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Ray in Pasadena

THE STORY OF THE FEDERAL PAVILION

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We should all congratulate Bill Young for his superbly detailed archive of the NYWF Federal Pavilion. It is an outstanding example of one man's devotion to this historic event. Bill, you and your supportive office staff must have worked many overtime hours to collate this extraordinary feature. It is amazing that you could have brought together all of the artifacts that appear here in less than a full lifetime. Robert Moses would have added his posting here if he could have been with us today. His message surely would read, "Bill, God bless you for what you have done".

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Yes, Ray, I agree!

What a great place this is. I've been coming here, but basically just to this forum. I never really explored the whole site before. It is great!

When I worked at the Fair I was there at least five days every week it was open, plus before it opened for training, yet I never even went into most of the pavilions. I never explored the Fair properly either - and now I think it's too late. I heard that they closed it down and tore it all down. I'd like to go into all those pavilions and shows now. See what the world's biggest cheese looks like, find out what's inside the Hollywood Pavilion (probably pictures and statues and film posters), and Bourbon Street, all the others that I never went into.

The Greyhound Pavilion was my headquarters, but I don't even remember exploring that one, yet people are reporting that there were exhibits there. All I remember is the Microwave oven (supposedly the very first public microwave ovens) eating place where I could heat up the hot dogs that I bought, and the locker rooms on the second floor, men's on the left, women's (i.e., Golden Girls) on the right (I was in there once!).

We were talking about the nightime displays of fireworks and light shows, and now I see that Rick Flannery has a set of View Master pictures called "Night Scenes & Amusement Area", though it has not yet been put up. That should be excellent.

Great site, Bill. I'm going to explore it thoroughly just in case they come and close it down and tear it all down without telling me or warning me - like they did in October '65.

I just showed up at Gate Four one day, as usual, October '65, and the Pinkerton Guard said the Fair was closed now and I can't get in anymore.

Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

LL

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Bill-

Until now the 64Federal Pavilion (maybe one of the proudest Fed. Pavs.) has been a puzzle. Noone knows why? We all have some peices, but not so clear a full picture. This was not easy. You did it. Thank you.

Side note:The 64Singer Bowl was renamed to honor Louis Armstrong, a life long resident of 34-56 107th St., Corona, Queens. (walking distance from Gate 3)

"Satchmo" was a cultural institution in Corona, in the day.

His home and it's contents were willed to NYC and now is open to the public. He is laid to rest in a Flushing cemetery.

Regards,

Richard Post

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Bill,

The Federal Pavilion is one of your best pieces yet.Had to be a tremendous amount of work involved. Thank You.

As sad as the demolition photos are; they're almost merciful. Some of us who roamed around in the post years, I feel, can attest to that. What a complete waste of one of the most nicely done structures at the Fair. Adding to the waste is the fact it was permanant and unlike something like NYS, the US building was very adaptable

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"Without in any way resorting to propaganda, the exhibit, as outlined, will make it clear that not one of the major discoveries mentioned has come from either Czarist or Communist Russia, or from Nazi Germany, or from any other country without donkeyic institutions."

Ah the Cold War… Nice piece Bill, love the government's garrulous text. Thank you for the credit, now you can see why I described the grandstands as lumbering behemoths meandering as they skulked through the pavilion.

[This message has been edited by Hoodlock (edited 01-23-2001).]

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Bill, your feature on the Federal Pavilion is outstanding. It is factual and informative to be sure. More importantly, the optimism contrasted with the painful photos of the pavilion's demolition, is a tribute to the lost world of the Fair. It is stunning to think that of the two great fairs held on that site, virtually nothing remains of the first and of the second, the remaining buildings, left with no thought as to their future protection or development, are rapidly disappearing. It is a tragedy NYC didn't envision a fair that would leave a lasting and glorious civic legacy as did Seattle, Brussels and Montreal. In any event, this is not just a website for Fair enthusiasts. It is a legitimate research vehicle for true historians. It is evidence of your effort and dedication. I am grateful for your enthusiasm and hard work.

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Thank you for bringing back great memories of a memorable pavilion - the USA pavilion had a lasting impact on my young spirit and conscience in 64 and 65 - it made me really feel great to be an American. This, I believe, is the best our country has offered at any fair since. Sure, the dome at Montreal was architecturally ground-breaking, but the exhibits left a lot to be desired - ditto for Knoxville. I did not get into our Vancouver pavilion, but Seville's was an embarrassment.

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Thank you all for your kind remarks.

Many people contributed materials to the story of the Federal Pavilion. I hope they're reading these comments and know that the kind remarks are intended for them also.

To me, the Federal Pavilion has always been a big mystery and I've always thought that it's gotten the short end of the stick when people present the Fair today. Compiling this feature has given me a better understanding of what the US presence at the Fair was all about. I came to realize a couple of things while doing it: namely, the influence the Cold War had on the presentation and the big part New York's financial problems played in the demise of the pavilion in the 70s. And the brochure Craig Bavaro sent me on the Franklin Center of Science and Education proposal by the Fair to the Feds was a big surprise! (I wish I knew someone who could answer all of the questions I have since reading that little gem!)

The pavilion is still a bit of an enigma -- I've only seen one photo of the exhibits in the "Challenges" section (a space probe suspended from the ceiling in the 1965 National Geographic article on the Fair that I did not include). So if anyone has pictures or knows someone who shot photos of the Challenges, please let me know and I'll glady include them! I'm glad the pavilion's story has been told. It was quite a presentation by our government!

Bill

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