Tag Archives: 1964-65 World’s Fair

Readers continue to share their World’s Fair memories


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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KATRINA MEDOFF

In anticipation of NYC Parks’ World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, which will be held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday, May 18, readers of The Queens Courier have been sharing their World’s Fair memories and memorabilia with us.

Belle Chameides, 93, went to both the 1939-40 and the 1964-65 World’s Fairs.

“I just loved it and I enjoyed going back many times to visit it,” the Little Neck resident said.

She recalls enjoying World’s Fair festivities with her older sister, Anita Lee, and her twin sister, Shirley.

She sent The Queens Courier memorabilia from both Fairs: a flag and pins from 1940, and tickets from 1964-65.

Reader Dotty Sodano was about 20 when she worked as part of the stenographic pool in the Administration Building of the Fair.

Sodano started working in the office in 1963, the year before the Fair opened, and she remembers that there was a countdown in the office until the Fair’s opening day.

“It was a fun place to work,” Sodano said.

She wrote to The Queens Courier to share her World’s Fair memories:

“I was employed in the Administration Building at the World’s Fair from 1963 to 1965, working on occasion for [Vice President] Stuart Constable and President Robert Moses.

“It was a privilege to be present the day that Gen. Douglas MacArthur visited the Fair. I am actually in a photo that was taken of him and the office staff while he was being greeted by Gen. William Potter. The photo appeared in a pamphlet which I kept all of these years. He also visited the large-scale table model of the entire World’s Fair, which I still remember as being an impressive sight.

“One of the perks of working there was walking around on our lunch hour visiting the many extraordinary pavilions and exhibits. There were people of all nationalities enjoying the sites (which may be common today, but not then). The Walt Disney salute to the children of the world was most enjoyable, as were the international exhibits; and Michelangelo’s Pieta left a lasting impression.

“It’s hard to believe that was fifty years ago. As a young woman, it was certainly a great place to work and a most memorable time of my life!

“Sincerely,
“Dotty Sodano”

The pamphlet featuring Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s visit to the World’s Fair, courtesy of Dotty Sodano.

 

WORLD’S FAIR SUBMISSIONS CALL

Did you or someone you know attend the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park?

If yes, The Queens Courier is asking you to share your memorabilia and/or memories with us to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary this April. You could win a dinner for two.

Please email your entries to editorial@queenscourier.com with the subject line “World’s Fair Anniversary” or to Editorial, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361.

Note: All photos/items become property of The Queens Courier.

 

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More readers share their World’s Fair memories


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of reader Dean Psomiades/Photos by Bill Psomiades

KATRINA MEDOFF

NYC Parks’ World’s Fair Anniversary Festival, which will be held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Sunday, May 18, will bring to Queens a day of food, rides, live entertainment and World’s Fair memorabilia.

In the meantime, many of our readers have been sharing their fond memories of the 1964-65 World’s Fair with The Queens Courier.

“I remember walking to the Fair from my house in Forest Hills,” said Marc Young, who was 12 at the time. “My friend, Richard Lerman, and I would spend the entire day at the Fair going on the rides and seeing shows and exhibits.”

They would take $10 or $12 with them to spend all day at the fair, Young said, but one day, they ran out of money.

“We were hungry and wanted dinner, but we didn’t want to go home,” Young said. “Luckily, we met up with some classmates at the Chun King restaurant. They had a dinner plate for 99 cents. My friend, Susan Katz, loaned us money so we could eat.”

So Young and Lerman stayed at the fair to go on the Ford Motor Company ride, which usually had a long line. “You got to sit in a car, and it went through the history of car making,” Young remembered. “Everyone wanted to go on it, since it was an actual ride and everyone liked those things.”

Young and his friend had to wait until 9 p.m. to get on the ride, and by the time the ride was over and they had walked back to the main gate, the kids’ dads were there with two police officers.

“It was going toward 10 o’clock and we had been there since 10 in the morning,” Young said. “They were waiting there getting ready to search for us.”

Young recalls that “The walk home was a little longer that night!”

Reader John Dallal of Howard Beach, N.Y., submitted a poem about his World’s Fair experience:

I loved the World’s Fair!

It was awesome! I was there…

And, truthfully, can attest

That, for me, it was the best

For a young mind to explore

What the future had in store.

Futurama, by GM,

Was a ride that turned a bend…

To display for searching eyes

A look beneath tomorrow’s skies.

And the Vatican display

Of the Pieta made my day

More enhanced. And, now, for me

There’s a lovely memory

Of a place: a joy! a treat-

One I wish I could repeat!

But I’m glad I got to know,

Without match, such a wondrous show!

At the time of the fair, Dallal lived in Bellerose, and was 18.

He, like many of our readers, remembers Disney’s Carousel of Progress in the GM pavilion, where he “sat in a seat seeing what was in the future,” he said. Dallal believes that the World’s Fair was the first time he saw a push-button telephone.

Dallal’s wife, Mary Ann, also has memories of the fair. Like many World’s Fair visitors, “my wife remembered the Belgian waffles,” Dallal said.

“I do have fond memories from that time,” Dallal said. “I was hoping they were going to repeat it. But I was just happy to be a part of it.”

WORLD’S FAIR SUBMISSIONS CALL

Did you or someone you know attend the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park?

If yes, The Queens Courier is asking you to share your memorabilia and/or memories with us to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary this April. You could win a dinner for two.

Please email your entries to editorial@queenscourier.com with the subject line “World’s Fair Anniversary” or to Editorial, 38-15 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY 11361.

Note: All photos/items become property of The Queens Courier.

 

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Parks Dept. invites community to ‘share vision’ for New York State Pavilion’s future


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of People for the New York State Pavilion Facebook page

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND MAGGIE HAYES 

The city’s Parks Department will be holding meetings this coming week to get feedback from the community on potential plans for the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the iconic, yet crumbling figure is in need of both internal and external repairs.

In November, the Parks Department released plans to restore the Pavilion, with cost estimates, as well as an option to tear it down for approximately $14 million.

One of the restoration plans could cost as high as $73 million.

Architectural firm Perkins + Will created an “adaptive reuse” concept, which would modify the site and add event spaces and landscaped paths.

Another option would stabilize the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow for $43 million, prohibiting public access.

A plan from the Parks Department to stabilize the towers would replace perimeter walls, elevator shafts and equipment, and bring all electrical up to code.

Matthew Silva, a member of People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, countered that plan and said that “certainly stabilizing it is something that is nice, but then it’s not something that can be utilized.”

A tentative plan to restore the Pavilion to again include access to the Tent and Towers, will climb to about $52 million.

People for the Pavilion feels the “best action would be to make it an institution, a cultural center that can be used for future generations,” said Silva.

The Parks Department will be giving a presentation on the recent structural studies that were completed on the Tent of Tomorrow and Towers during three meetings.

They will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.to 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave.,  Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The Parks Department is inviting people to  “come and share [their] vision for the future of the Pavilion.”

Following the meetings, a questionnaire will be posted on the Parks Department website to get feedback from people who were not able to attend, a Parks spokesperson said. The Parks Department will then meet with elected officials to discuss funding options.

People for the Pavilion, which would like to form a coalition of individuals and organizations interested in the preservation of the Pavilion, will be holding its own presentation on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Queens Theatre about the “structures’ past and present, before meeting others interested in its future.” The presentation is free and open to the public. RSVP‘s are requested but not required.

 

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Millions needed to save New York State Pavilion: Parks Department


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of People for the New York State Pavilion Facebook page

The city’s Parks Department presented plans this week for the crumbling but iconic New York State Pavilion.

An option to tear down the deteriorating 1964-65 World’s Fair figure, which is in need of an inordinate amount of internal and external fixes, could cost $14 million.

But a plan to restore the site could cost $73 million, according to a Parks study.

Architectural firm Perkins + Will created an “adaptive reuse” concept, which would modify the site and add event spaces and landscaped paths.

Parks detailed a plan to stabilize the towers by replacing perimeter walls, elevator shafts and equipment and bringing all electrical up to code.

People for the Pavilion, an advocacy group for the site, feels the “best action would be to make it an institution, a cultural center that can be used for future generations,” said member Matthew Silva.

Another option would stabilize the Observation Towers and the Tent of Tomorrow for $43 million, prohibiting public access.

Silva countered that plan and said that “certainly stabilizing it is something that is nice, but then it’s not something that can be utilized.”

“We want to advocate for making that part of the park a usable and very lively place. It should be used in a dynamic way,” he said.

Additionally, a tentative plan to restore the Pavilion to again include access to the Tent and Towers, will climb to about $52 million.

Costs quoted for preliminary plans are rough estimates, said a Parks spokesperson. The department will accept feedback at community meetings. Dates will be announced soon.

 

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