Jack Gordon




Century 21 -- How the World's Fair was Going to Look


1961 Seattle Phone Book cover, courtesy of JackGordon.org

From sometime in late-1960 when the cover of the March, 1961, Seattle Phone Book was being designed, we have this drawing of what the World's Fair could have looked like. The artist got some of it right. There's the Washington State Coliseum and the U.S. Pavilion (Science Center). The old Armory that was turned into the Food Building is there as well as a corner of the high school football stadium. (The rest of the stadium was on the spine of the book.)

But where's the Space Needle? (The Seattle Times had run an article on the Needle with a pretty good drawing in September.) That wimpy building where the Needle now sits probably wouldn't have lasted the 50 years since the Fair. And it's nowhere as interesting as the Half-an-egg idea in the concept sketches elsewhere on this site. The forerunner of the Plaza of the States appears to be drawing a crowd, but the "mini-Washington Monument"  where the fountain now sprays looks insignificant. I still can't tell if the blue-and-white structure between the stadium and the Coliseum was supposed to be an airport tower or a transplant from the beaches of southern California.

And note in the lower right corner how technology was moving ahead by leaps and bounds. Dialing your own long distance calls. What a concept. Just wait, though... next up is push-button phones.






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