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Bill Cotter

A Pavilion With An Identity Crisis

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Here's a view of the Czechoslovakia Pavilion at Man and His World in 1972:

expo67-72-czechoslovakia.jpg

It's not too hard to guess what pavilion this was during Expo, is it? I'm surprised they couldn't do a better job of erasing the old name.

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Man And His World always fascinates me, although I know very little about it. If only the NYWF's had though about doing a permanent expo! Whats the story of the "JAPAN" written in the cement block in front of the building? Graffiti?

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Here's a view of the Czechoslovakia Pavilion at Man and His World in 1972:

It's not too hard to guess what pavilion this was during Expo, is it? I'm surprised they couldn't do a better job of erasing the old name.

Oh. I guess I did not finish reading the post, and The sign in the photo made me think it was Czechoslovakia for the fair too. I know very little about Expo '67, and even less on the pavilions of nations.

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Virtually all of the pavilions were reconfigured for Terre des Hommes in 1968 until its demise in the 1980's. The British tower, for example, no longer sported the Union Jack. It had been replaced by the flag of the city of Montreal. Some pavilions, of course, were demolished. The Soviet pavilion is the best example (it was rebuilt in Moscow as discussed in a previous thread).

Man and His World was OK. I visited a few times but by the mid-1970's it was not working out well. By the time of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Summer Games, most of Ile Notre Dame was no longer in use and many pavilions were gone due to the construction of the Olympic Rowing Basin on the island. The Mini Train still operated but the island was a futuristic ghost town and a shabby one at that.

Fires took over where neglect left off and by the mid-1980's the concept was finished.

I don't think it would have ever worked well because no plans had been made to continue Expo after it closed. There was enough speculation that the fair would never really succeed during the construction years so that post-fair plans never really were an issue. And when it did succeed--beyond all expectations--no one wanted to see it go. And I was one of those people.

But the buildings were not meant to last.

If one of the wizards who ran the NYWF had decided in 1965 to keep it operating in some form or another into the near future, one can only imagine the deterioration we would have witnessed.

Remember, the decision to turn Expo into a permanent exhibition was NOT made by Expo leaders. It was made by Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal. The city proposed the idea and then supported it as best as possible. For a time, it worked.

NYC would never have done this and probably never even discussed it--or thought about it. The fair closed. Almost all was demolished and pounded into junk. What did remain became derelict as the city slipped into bankruptcy. What a mess that site would have become had the buildings remained for any reason at all. In this case, demolition of the NYWF was a form of mercy killing.

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It's interesting to watch the changes at Man and His World over the years.

Hare are two very different views from 1972.

1972-1.jpg
Here things still look pretty good, especially considering Expo was 5 years ago.

1972-2.jpg
Look in a different direction, though, and empty concrete marks the spot of a removed pavilion. Anyone know what was in this spot? Sorry for the photo quality - the orignal was horribly over-exposed and dirty.

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The removed pavilion is Mexico. You think they would have at least turned the concrete into some sort of plaza or planted it over but by then I suppose money was scarce.

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The wooden tower in the photograph with the Mini Train is the Korean Pavilion. The tower stood until the late 1990's, I believe. The main part of the pavilion remains today. Just to the left, one can see the blue roof line of the NYS pavilion.

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What a great image. I have often wondered what became of the NYS pavilion. It was rather small and basically just a rest stop with maps and brochures, but I remember it well. This is a most interesting photograph. I suppose the pavilion came down in the mid-1980's with most of the Expo structures on Ile Ste. Helene.

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In 1972 it was the Yugoslavia pavilion. I'm putting together a timeline of the changes to Man and His World over the years. Some interesting changes.

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Just another quick thought. Montreal continues to honor Expo 67. The 40th anniversary found the city emblazoned with Expo logo banners, festivals honoring the fair, museum presentations and displays--you name it. For a few months in 2007, the Expo spirit was revived.

It appears from that photograph that within just ten years of the closing of Expo 67, Montreal was fondly remembering its moment in the sun with this exhibit in the former NYS pavilion. And that city, quite simply, has never forgotten its heritage.

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The removed pavilion is Mexico. You think they would have at least turned the concrete into some sort of plaza or planted it over but by then I suppose money was scarce.

That spot became part of the huge rowing lagoon for the Olympics. Maybe they were planning ahead for when the grounds were eventually to be removed and reconfigured? The location is underwater today.

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It's interesting to watch the changes at Man and His World over the years.

Hare are two very different views from 1972.

1972-1.jpg

Here things still look pretty good, especially considering Expo was 5 years ago.

1972-2.jpg

Look in a different direction, though, and empty concrete marks the spot of a removed pavilion. Anyone know what was in this spot? Sorry for the photo quality - th eorignal was horribly over-exposed and dirty.

Wasn't that the remnants of the Mexico pavilion?

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Wasn't that the remnants of the Mexico pavilion?

In the top picture center.....three white poles....is that a pay phone under a glass dome?

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