Tuesday 30 April 2013

Architectural Icons at the World's Fair

It was on this day in 1939 that the World's Fair opened in New York City.  Again in 1964, the Big Apple hosted the World's Fair.  This time they built the largest globe in the world, called the Unisphere.  It is featured in the opening scenes of the show "King of Queens".  My husband spotted it from the plane when we flew into LaGuardia Airport last summer.

Here are ten lasting structures that were originally built for World's Fairs.

1.  Crystal Palace 1851

Made of a million square feet of glass, the Crystal Palace in London, England built for the World's Exhibition inspired many other structures:  New York's Crystal Palace (1953), Philadelphia's Horticultural Hall (1876), Sydney's Garden Palace (1879), Paris' Grand Palais (1900) and Disney World's Crystal Palace (1971).

2.  Eiffel Tower 1889

Built as a temporary structure to be dismantled later on, the 1063 foot high structure still stands today.  Someone climbed its 1710 steps to plant the French flag on the day that it opened.

3.  Krizikova Fountain 1891

Built for the General Land Exhibition in Prague, Austria, it now serves as a backdrop to a 6000 person amphitheatre.

4.  Palace of Fine Arts 1893

Built for the World's Colombian Exposition, it has served both as the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Science & Industry.

5.  Golden Gate Bridge 1939

Built for the Golden Gate International Exhibit, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. It has been featured in many movies including Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo".

6.  Atomium 1958

Built for the Brussels, Belgium Exposition, this represented an iron molecule enlarged 165 billion times.

7.  Space Needle 1962

Built for the exposition in Seattle, Washington this needle houses a rotating restaurant.

8.  Unisphere 1964

The largest globe in the world, in New York City, weighs 900,000 pounds and stands 140 feet high.

9.  Buckminister Fullerdome 1967

This giant ball sits on the island of Montreal and used to house the U.S. Pavilion during Expo 67.  Now it serves as the Environment Canada Biosphere.

10.  Canada Place 1986

This Vancouver Expo building looks like a cross between a sailboat and the Sydney Opera House.  It now houses a convention centre, hotel, office building, cruise ship terminal, retail centre, amphitheatre and promenade.

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