Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Century 21 Exposition

architectural elevation Seattle Space Needle

Century 21 Exposition (Seattle, Wash.), design for the Space Needle, elevation

Seattle observation deck architectural design

Century 21 Exposition (Seattle, Wash.), proposed
design for the Space Needle and grounds, site plan

Seattle space needle summit cutaway

Space Needle summit cutaway

Seattle space needle elevator plans

Seattle space needle elevator design

Space Needle elevator plans

Seattle Century 21 exposition - Ford pavilion geodesic dome

Ford pavilion geodesic dome

"In 1957 Paul Thiry, one of Seattle's earliest practitioners of European Modernism, was appointed principal architect of Century 21, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The Ford pavillion, part of the Triangle of the Future, was located near the south gate on Boulevard 21. Under its geodesic dome, visitors were entertained by a simulated flight to outer space in a model rocket ship. An auto show was also part of the attraction at the pavillion, where the Ford Motor Company displayed some of the consumer products it had in development."

Century 21 exposition - ground plan

"This drawing shows a preliminary design of an observation tower and restaurant for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair Exhibition. Set on the only section of the fair grounds that was not owned by the city, the site did not have the height restrictions of other exhibits/pavillions at the fair. The lot, 37-by-37 m, was purchased by private investors for $75,000 and is still privately owned. Although there is much contention surrounding who came up with the final design of the Space Needle, John Graham is widely acknowledged as its architect."

Seattle exposition - Nalley's fine food pavillion

Nalley's Fine Food Pavillion - Seattle 1962

"The Nalley's Fine Food pavilion was a plastic form shell pneumatically applied on a frame of reinforcing rods and metal lathe. The exterior of the pavilion was constructed without a straight line or sharp angle. The unique oval contained a theater which showed movies of the great Pacific Northwest. In the lobby of the building were displays of the food products from Nalley's Tacoma-based company."

Century 21 Seattle First National Bank design plan

Century 21 exposition - Seattle first national bank architectural design
"The site for the Century 21 Branch of the Seattle First National Bank was located at the northwest corner of the Friendship Mall. [design proposals]

Seattle First National Bank - design plan of canvas awning

"The Century 21 Branch of the Seattle First National Bank was located at the north-west corner of the Friendship Mall. It featured a canvas awning stretched over a steel frame decorated with the flags of the participating nations."

design for the Space Needle, west elevation and floor plans

Preliminary sketch for Space Needle and floor plans by Victor Steinbreuk

Century 21 exposition - proposed design for the Space Needle and grounds, rendering

Design render of Seattle space needle and exposition grounds
Rendered proposals for exposition grounds

[click images for larger versions]

I've been toying around with Google alerts (a regular automatic search in news/blogs/websites) the last couple of months with varying outcomes. I nearly stopped the weekly emails in February when a 1997 website was included with 'new digitial collection' search results. But they do add a certain lazy randomness to my trawling habits.

In this case I was directed to the Century 21 Exposition design plans for the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair that belong to the Architecture of the Pacific NorthWest Database at the University of Washington. I was nearly sure I could see Kurt Russell among those uniquely architectural 2-D figures in the Ford Pavillion sketch plans.

The descriptions included above are copied from the site but seem not always to be totally accurate for each of the illustrations. 'Observation deck' and 'site plans' are favoured terms. I had to play around with the image URLs to get complete large illustrations.
I was a little disappointed that there don't appear to be many decent futuristic diagrams and brochures from Seattle 1962 Century 21 online. Links anyone?


madcynic said...

No, not a link really. But I was wondering. I've read in various sources that there was a World Fair kind of thing in New York in 1936. I know for certain that there was one in '32 but there's nothing about 36. Any ideas, maybe?

Unknown said...

Great stuff, as usual.

Would you care to share your technique for retreiving full images from this excellent database?

peacay said...

madcynic, I guess I have no idea save for the same info that is brought up for me in a search. There is a mention but I didn't really pursue it.

David, email me. peacay---gmail

Jason said...

Great post, but the images are from the University of Washington (in Seattle) not Washington University (in St. Louis).

peacay said...

Oops. Thanks Jason.

keri said...

madcynic - you are maybe thinking of the NY fair in 1939-40? The one with the trylon and perisphere?
I don't believe there was a "world's fair" in 1932 or 1936.

Isaac Alexander said...

Here's a link to a bunch of Seattle World's Fair.

Eliza said...

Two amusing and vaguely related items for you:

1) Aerial footage of the actual Space Needle with Sasquatch playing drums on the roof

2) Elvis >receiving a ham from Washington's governor during the filming of "It Happened at the World's Fair".

Unknown said...

Keri says no Worlds Fair 1932I have in front of me:        OfficialBOOK of the fair1932        1933A CENTURY OF PROGRESS   INTERNATIONAl EXPOSITION     CHICAGO 1933   Johnw

Holland said...

Hello. I'd like to use the tall sketch of the Needle in my business adds. I'm a piano teacher in Seattle and want to spell my name using the space needle pictures as the "L's" in my name: HOLLAND. Who do I speak to to request the necessary permissions? Thanks! -H :)

Holland said...

I would like to use two pictures of the Space Needle sketch to spell my name in my business ads: Holland's Opus; A Piano Studio.

How do I go about getting the necessary permissions?

Thanks! :O)


peacay said...

Holland, to quote from the Architecture of the Pacific Northwest Database -

"To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: Please cite the Order Number."

But this material will definitely be under copyright, irrespective of whether the University of Washington Libraries provide digital or hardcopy reproductions. In other words, it will be necessary to get permission from the original architects or their heirs, I'm sure.

Charles Leo said...

I really love these traditional architectural renderings.

I also specialize in architectural renderings - but more of a photorealistic 3d aspect to my works which can be seen here:

architectural renderings by Lunarstudio

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