Like the Sinclair dinosaurs towering on the cover, New York’s 1964-1965 World’s Fair was gigantic in every sense of the word: its five-year cost (from conception to construction) one billion dollars, 250,000 tons of steel used (not counting electric, gas, utilities, etc.) for construction; a 65 million dollar payroll; massive modernistic structures; approximately 51 million people in attendance, and fairgrounds that covered one square mile.
The concept for a world’s fair was to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of New York. It was constructed at Flushing Meadows Park in the borough of Queens (the site of the 1939 world’s fair) and initially the theme was Peace, but the emphasis became a showpiece for space and electronics of American science and industry after foreign countries failed to participate due to political issues.
Many modernistic technologies and products were showcased - i.e., monorails, picture phones, superhighways, Telstar satellite, microfiche, and computers. Even with the high rate of attendance, the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair became a financial failure and, its fate paralleling that of the dinosaurs, was the last large-scale World’s Fair held in the United States.
In their expressive glance into the process of creating a world’s fair, through concept drawings, illustrations and photographs of structures and buildings in various stages of construction, the authors [Cotter and Young] have expertly depicted the design process (Concept—Revision—Final), which is the main focus of this book. The brief histories of the fair, products, participating companies and so forth, are adequate for a book of this length, and the arrangement of chapters, photographs, drawing and illustrations are organized and easy to follow.
Well-written and researched with rare photographs and drawings make this a unique documentary of a grand ending of a grand era in American history.