The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair

New York State

Looming over the New York State pavilion are three observation towers, one of which is the tallest structure at the Fair (226 feet). Beneath the towers is the Tent of Tomorrow, the world’s biggest suspension roof (it is larger than a football field), supported by sixteen 100-foot concrete columns. Translucent colored panels in the roof flood the interior of the tent with colors. On the main floor, Texaco Oil Company has made a mammoth map of the state in terrazzo. Around the map are a number of impressive attractions, including an exhibit by the New York State Power Authority, a fine arts museum, fashion shows and a restaurant. On the mezzanine, visitors have an opportunity to meet state legislators. Next to the Tent of Tomorrow is the Theaterama, a large, cylindrical movie theater decorated with controversial “pop” art.

View from bridge

The New York State pavilion is a massive complex, and was easily seen from any section of the Fairgrounds. This photo was taken on Meadow Lake Bridge and shows the pavilion looming over the nearby Astral Fountain. A comparison to the height of people in the picture helps show how large the building is. (CD #23 Set 124 #4)



NYSP towers

Immediately recognizable to fans of the movie "Men in Black", or to passengers arriving at nearby LaGuardia Airport, the three observation platforms of the New York State pavilion were a very futuristic design back in 1964. This view, taken from the pavilion's Mezzanine level, shows the enclosed lower level, which was a VIP lounge for visiting dignitaries. (CD #6 Set 22 #35)



Unisphere

A beautiful shot of the Unisphere, taken from the New York State towers on a beautiful August day in 1964. (CD #27 Set 146 #5)



Artwork

Several pieces of artwork were hung on the walls of the theater portion of the pavilion. The girl with her arms crossed was painted by Roy Lichtenstein. For those who like to know such things, this was his first large-scale work, measuring 240x192 inches, and is oil and magna on plywood. Some of the artwork on the pavilion was well received, some ignored - and some controversial, such as a display by Andy Warhol that drew the unwelcome attention of Robert Moses and was quickly painted over. (CD #24 Set 127 #16)



Tent of Tomorrow

The massive roof of the Tent of Tomorrow was comprised of hundreds of translucent panels held in place by an elaborate network of steel cables. (CD #14 Set 68 #6A)



Entrance to the Tent of Tomorrow

Visitors could enter the Tent area through several entrances. This is the main one near the towers, which featured a stylized map on this side of the blue disc and the state seal on the other. (CD #21 Set 112 #17)



Artwork

This stage inside the Tent was kept very busy indeed, featuring a wide variety of performers from towns across the state. (CD #20 Set 108 #30)



Texaco map

The real star of the Tent of Tomorrow was this giant map of New York State. Sponsored by Texaco, it was a faithful recreation of the company's tourist map of the state. Artists created a series of terrazzo panels by tracing the map and then assembled them on site, thereby creating the largest map ever made. (CD #6 Set 22 #31)



Map close-up

This close-up view of a section of Long Island shows how the map listed towns, roads and scenic attractions such as state parks. (CD #10 Set 50 #49)



Ruined map

A controversy developed shortly after the Fair opened, for residents of many towns were dismayed to find they had been left off the map. In a surprising move, sections of the map were re-done to add in this missing localities. For example, my home town of Baldwin was missing in the prior shot but has now been inserted in this view. The damage seen in this picture is due to the fact that this picture was taken in 1987, and the pavilion had been standing abandoned for many years. (CD #2 Set 8 #30)



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Federal and State Area pavilions