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Exploring the World Fair

     City Reliquary gives an idea of the vision as well as some ideals the New York World Fair  embodies. As a project that emerged from a global depression which left millions of people unemployed something also between the Great Depression, the page makes some brief introduction to the background, people and ideas involved as well as the important steps which brought out the project. As you click on, the pages give some general ideas and facts that help understand the world fair. It also does a good job summarizing some of the motivations behind the project, and  some of its characteristics which were also to generate conflict. But in general it helps one understand how the world fair was conceived as an idea, and how well it worked while being carried out.

        We learn from the webpage that the event was thought out by a few financial and commercial leaders, who studying some other popular fairs had the vision of reviving the morale of the city. The Chicago World Fair’s name, “Century of Progress”, connects to the grandness of the New York Word Fair and sounds like something that may have inspired it: both terms “Century” and “Progress” are broad and ambitious terms. Also, the themes and exhibitions for the New York world fair were about technology, industry, productivity and jobs, which . 

        What was also interesting was learning what actualized the Fair as well as Grover Whalen who acted as chairman and organized for everything that was done for it. He visited countries to invite them for participation, and he was behind securing the Flushing Meadows Site, which was used for the Fair. 

    There were also interesting facts relating to the construction and architecture. It incorporated different directors in industrial design for its focal exhibits and zones, and from its architecture we see the influence of functionalism instead of neoclassicism. Among the architectures, the Trylon and the Perisphere were able to make an impression.

    Trylon and Perisphere. Source: Internet

        The Fair became a stage for envisioning a world in the future but it also complicated things being  a stage which took some refraction from the world given its scale of inclusion. Though the fair did not work well in the end  financially, it was able to predict some trends such as color TV and electric typewriters and on a broader scale set the trend for urban planning and use of highway. 

        The page helped me appreciate a project it in practical ways, and how it came to involve conflict because of the Second World War and also the countries. Finding real hidden bombs and seeing other pavillions retreat was when what was symbolic became targeted in reality. Creating something like the World Fair includes many complicated things like people, organizations, fundings and the  architectural art as well. But it is also a platform that is able to influence people with ideas of the time and impact people; whether it is by just witnessing it, or also sharing the prospect and imagination for the future.   

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    Author: Shitong Tang

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