Photo Essay

The Unisphere -- A Vestige of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair

Unisphere Flushing Meadow Park - 1

The 1964-65 World's Fair, held in New York City to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding (debatable), consisted of nearly 150 exhibits, plus restaurants, etc.. According to Wikiopedia, "the fair's theme was 'Peace Through Understanding', dedicated to 'Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe'". Well, we see how far we've come in the last 55 years.

The site of the fair was Flushing Meadow Park, the same as for the 1939 World's Fair. Little of that fair remains, not even the Trylon and Perisphere, its iconic symbols. And while little of the later fair's buildings and exhibits remain, a few do, including the Unisphere, its symbol.

The Unisphere is said to be one of the largest, if not the largest, globes in the world. It was built by a division of U.S. Steel for the fair, and is surrounded by a large fountain/pool. Long wide pedestrian avenues provide access to the globe.

It is constructed of stainless steel.

I visited during August 2019, at the commencement of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, on a rare cool and dry summer day. The fountains were in operation, primarily to clean the filter systems. I spoke with one of the maintenance workers who was on his way down a manhole into the pump room. He told me that most of the original parts remain from 1964 and the machinery is in great condition.

It is a beautiful structure. Cannot say more than that!

For the technically minded, these photos were all taken on Tri-X pan film, Leica M7, Voigtlander Nokton f/1.4 40mm lens, with a B+W dark red (091) filter. The negatives were scanned and some light cropping and exposure correction was done in Lightroom.

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