The 1984 World's Fair is known by several names. The official name was the Louisiana World Exhibition, but is was also known as the New Orleans World's Fair and, to some,  the Louisiana World's Fair. What the Fair is really known for, though, is that it was the last World's Fair held to date in the United States. It's also sadly remembered as being the only World's Fair that was forced into bankruptcy during its operating season.

The Fair was planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1884 New Orleans Cotton Exposition. The theme this time was "The World of Rivers: Fresh Water as a Source of Life". An 84 acre site along the Mississippi River was cleared of rundown warehouses, replaced by the structures of the Fair. This was to be a "Class B" exposition as defined by the BIE, the international body governing world's fairs. There weren't any major exhibits, such as those that had been seen at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, which started predictions that the Fair could be a flop. Sadly, those predictions came true. The problem may have been the overall quality of the exhibits, or it might have been that the market had been tapped by the nearby 1982 Knoxville fair. Holding a Fair in the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer couldn't have helped either. Although 7 million guests toured the Fair, it was not enough to recoup the $350 million spent to host the event. Paychecks started bouncing, and it was only through governmental interaction that the gates remained open through the scheduled run.

The 1984 World's Fair is perhaps the least documented exposition on the web. Despite its problems, the Fair did leave New Orleans with a new convention center, and many of the fairgoers with pleasant memories. This site was built to help rekindle some of those thoughts of a muggy summer in New Orleans.

 
PHOTOS ON CD

With just about every trace of the 1984 World's Fair gone from New Orleans today, it's tough to look at the site and picture where all of the pavilions and shows once were. The buildings may be gone, but for many, the memories linger. You can help turn back the clock through this collection of photos from the Fair, which is the largest such group available on the Internet. Click on the slides for full details on the collection and how to order.

   
  TOUR THE NEW ORLEANS WORLD'S FAIR ONLINE

Sit back and enjoy a look back at many of the popular pavilions and shows of the Fair. Sample photos from the CD collection are presented here for your enjoyment. Click on the logo to start your tour!

     
  IMAGES OF AMERICA: THE 1984 NEW ORLEANS WORLD'S FAIR

I am pleased to be the author of the first comprehensive book on the fair. It includes rare photos of the design and construction phases of the project as well as an extensive collection of photographs from the fair's pavilions and shows. I was thrilled to gain the cooperation of many of those originally responsible for the fair and included their memories and thoughts along with research from a number of archival sources. Published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their "Images of America" series, the book was released on January 5, 2009. Click on the book to order your copy. It is also available at major booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

     
  POSTCARDS OF AMERICA: THE 1984 NEW ORLEANS WORLD'S FAIR

Released in conjunction with the Images of America book, this set of 15 postcards features views of the fair. Published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their "Images of America" series, the set was released on January 5, 2009. Click on the cover image to order your copy. The set is also available at major booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

     
  MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS ABOUT THE FAIR

Like all World's Fairs, there were numerous articles written about this one. Many newspapers and magazines covered the design, building and operation of the Fair. Click on the newsboy for a look at some of these capsules in time.

     
  OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

Take a look inside the creation of the 1984 World's Fair! This section includes an assortment of the many documents and publications prepared by the builders of the fair. Click on the report cover to get started.

 

     

Thanks for visiting this site about the 1984 World's Fair. I will be adding more pictures and information to the site, but in the meantime, If you have any questions, just click here to send me an e-mail.

Bill Cotter

Last updated on: 10/05/2013

Follow these links to other 1984 World's Fair sites
Earth Station 9
ExpoMuseum
New Orleans Public Library
NEW ORLEANS REACHES ITS GOAL OF $26 MILLION
FOR 1984 WORLD'S FAIR
Riverwalk Marketplace (former International Riverfront area)

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