1964 New York World’s Fair

I have two favorite World’s Fair expositions. The first one being the 1962 held in Seattle, also known as Century 21, the second one is the fair that was held in Queens, New York in 1964. It was the largest World’s Fair ever hosted, and the theme for it was “Peace Through Understanding”. This was represented through a huge model of the Earth called the Unisphere which still stands there today.

Like the fair in Seattle in 1962, this fair was mostly remembered for its mid-century American corporate culture, bright plans for the future and space age design. It was also the place where Walt Disney created and tested his system for audio-animatronics which was used for several rides on the fair, i.e. Ford’s Magic Skyway and General Electric’s Carousel of progress.

More than 50 million people from all over the world visited the fair, but the fair had proven to be too costly and was not able to repay its financial backers. The fair closed permanently in 1970, however some of the buildings and pavilions survived. The most famous one is the Unisphere which has become a symbol for Queens.


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Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

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Comments for this article

  • Lee
  • Chris

    Yes indeed. Too bad they don’t organize fairs like this anymore. Thank you for the link! Interesting read and nice photos.

  • Lee

    And it’s too bad that so many old structures like these are not preserved.

  • abeattie23

    hi chris

    this is a superb site & the compilations are so groovy………..

  • Anonymous

    I wanna go to work in a monorail like that! I might even stop dreaming about going to work in a AMC Pacer, wich is my favourite car (but not my wifes).

  • Buzz

    I went to the World’s Fair in 1965 (I was 11) and had a great time. It’s one of my fondest memories. The photos really capture the color and brilliance of the pavilions. In the wide panorama shot, if you look just to the right of the U.S. Royal Tire ferris wheel you’ll see some of the life size Sinclair Oil fiberglass dinosaurs. The triceratops ended up starring in a TV adaptation of the children’s book “The Enormous Egg” and eventually wound up on the Smithsonean Institute grounds.

    P.S. Love your site and your compilations!

  • Anonymous

    yes, yes, i want to travel in a monorail like that!

  • janepeepshow

    nice post!

    ya happy now? hehe

  • Chris

    Yay, I am one happy camper now! Don’t forget your password again Miss Peepshow ;-)

  • janepeepshow

    ummm. actually, come to think of it, i’ve been logged on blogger, you know like, automatically or something. but anywho! how about changing your website layout? :D

  • Chris

    Why change it, don’t you like it? ;-) Yeah well, I have had it for almost three years now but I couldn’t be bothered to change it. The idea behind this blog/site is to provide content, not a place where I try out cool new graphic design ideas, I got other places for that! :D

  • Lee

    I like the coloring and layout of your blog as is. It’s simple, direct. There are some blogs that use a black background with difficult-to-read letters, etc. I say Chris keep the format and keep up the good work.


  • Chris

    Thank you for your input Lee, I agree with you. It’s a simple and nice looking layout. I will keep it until further notice. Take that Janepeepshow! *haha* ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Correction: First off the fair only ran two yeas 1964 & 1965 and did not permanently close in 1970. The 1964 New York World’s Fair was NOT the largest world’s fair ever hosted by a long shot. It was only 646 acres. I realize you attained your information from Wikipedia but its INCORRECT. The largest world’s fair would be its predecessor, the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair that clocked in at 1,216 acres. Followed by St. Louis’s 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition and Montreal’s Expo 67 which each covered 1,000 acres. For further reference Seattle’s Century 21 was an appallingly small 74 acres. If you really want to see a groovy world’s fair study up on Expo 67, one of the most successful world’s fair ever held. Architecture, design, structure, layout and exhibits surpassed the 1964 fair.

  • Chris

    Sorry yes, I got my information from Wikipedia which has served me well in the past. If the information is incorrect I suggest that you update their page about the fair.

  • Anonymous

    Very irresponsible of you not to correct your own page. Why do you want to spread inaccuracies? Hardly makes you look credible.

  • Disney Addict

    I loved the Fair! I was only 14 then and still miss the entire atmosphere. The only place in the world today that recreates the world fair feeling is Wald Disney World Florida. I wonder if Walt had this in mind? I am sorry he did not live to see it. Will they ever have another fair like this one?

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