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Fifty Years After the New York World’s Fair, Recalling a Vision of the Future - NYTimes.com
The grounds of the 1964 New York World’s Fair were a blur of perpetual motion: Gondolas dangled above the crowds from the Swiss Sky Ride, a monorail glided in the Lake Amusement area, Greyhound Escorters ferried fatigued visitors, helicopters landed on the Port Authority’s helipad and a giant tire Ferris wheel spun.
On the 50th anniversary of the fair’s opening, we asked readers to share their memories of the event and photographs from their visits. We got more than 1,200 responses, which included many snapshots of visitors with the Unisphere and recollections of eating Belgian waffles, being entranced by new technology (the touch tone phone!) and feeling moved by Michelangelo’s Pietà.
The fair, with pavilions sponsored by car companies and insurance giants and with special effects by Disney, may have been as corporate as a modern Olympics, but it still sparked the imaginations of those who attended.
The grounds sprawled over 646 acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, divided geographically into five sections: Industrial, International, Federal and State, Transportation and Lake Amusement. There were more than 100 restaurants. Here is a sampling of readers’ recollections and images from the fair, and a map of the fairgrounds.