1960s

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World’s Fair Exhibits in the Hall of Science

More on the occasion of our 50th Birthday. Yesterday, we looked at Wallace Harrison’s iconic Great Hall. Today, let’s look downstairs at what is today known as our Central Pavilion. The galleries were put beneath the main structure due to the soil conditions at the…

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Wallace Harrison’s “Cathedral of Science”

“At a time when science vies with religion in explaining the mysteries of the universe, this is an oddly significant architectural twist.” So wrote Ada Louise Huxtable about Wallace Harrison’s Hall of Science. Harrison said he was simply looking for a new way to build…

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Happy 50th Birthday, New York Hall of Science

September 9 marks fifty years since the dedication of the Hall of Science. On that date in 1964, Mayor Wagner, Robert Moses, and other dignitaries led an hour-long ceremony in the blazing sun while guests “mopped their brows” and murmured to each other that “it’s…

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May ’68: Donovan Speaks at Science Hall

More than 300 superintendents, principals and science guidance advisors come to the Hall of Science for Nuclear Week.   Among those who helped plan Nuclear Week in New York was none other than John Dunning. Read more about the history of NYSCI in our Archives.

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Apr ’68: Flushing Meadows Science Hall to Be Expanded

Five months after the Hall of Science expansion received the go-ahead from City Planning, Max O. Urbahn Architects was retained to lead the project. An ambiguous start date of “fall or next spring” was reported for start of construction. Emanuel Piore said the new museum…

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Nov ’67: Hall of Science Elects New President

Less than two weeks after the City Planning Commission approved the expansion plan for the Hall of Science, founding President, John Dunning, stepped down from the Board and was succeeded by IBM’s chief scientist,Emanuel Piore. Born in Lithuania, Piore came to the US at age…

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The purpose, the plan, and the cost to expand the Hall of Science

Here’s more from the 1966 publicity book promoting the Hall of Science expansion.   Read more about the history of the Hall of Science in the NYSCI Archives.

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An early pitch for the post-Fair expansion plan

This was the model of the Atomarium unveiled by Mayor Lindsay in 1967. But this publicity book from June of 1966 reveals an earlier concept: Max O. Urbahn replaced Wallace Harrison as the architect. The $7.6 million cost of the original Hall of Science, twice…

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“The need in New York is for greater awareness of… pure and applied science.”

The design unveiled in the spring of 1967–and begrudgingly approved by the City Planning Commission later that year–for an expanded Hall of Science, featuring a live nuclear reactor, was the culmination of planning that began even before the 1964-65 World’s Fair.  The trustees planned to…

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Science Hall Wants Visitors

    Read more history of the Hall of Science in the NYSCI Archives.

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The Hall of Science has “Limited Salvage Value”

In the Spring of 1967, the Hall of Science was booming.  More than 100,000 people had visited since the Hall reopened as a museum following the World’s Fair.  The City formally unveiled plans for an expansion that would include the Atomarium, a nuclear reactor suitable…

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The Hall’s 100,000th Visitor

Congratulations Maureen Connolly.  We hope you enjoy your portable TV!   Read more history of the Hall of Science in the NYSCI Archives.

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Cariello Presses the Case for the Atomarium

Joining Robert Moses and John Lindsay in spurring on the proposed Hall of Science expansion was Queens Borough President Mario Cariello. A public servant for nearly three decades before becoming BP in 1963, Cariello had a reputation for sincerity and competence, not to mention “good…

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The Atomarium

The Atomarium planned for the Hall of Science in 1967 would be the largest of its kind in the country. It was to feature a working nuclear reactor and an operating gamma-ray irradiator. The internal works of the devices would be visible to public audiences…

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A Hot Reactor in Queens

Robert Moses’ cheerleading for an expanded Hall of Science was matched by Mayor Lindsay on May 31, 1967, when he announced a $10 million City commitment for a new building to be built within 14 months. The five-story addition would house 190,000 square feet of…

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“No one can overestimate what this ambitious institution may in time accomplish.”

From the time the City of New York first committed to building a Hall of Science at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, it was with the understanding that a post-Fair expansion would be required to transform the Hall of Science from a World’s Fair pavilion into…

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Installing Rendezvous in Space

As millions of people visited the first season of the 1964-65 World’s Fair, the Hall of Science was being erected before their eyes, looming behind the rockets in the Space Park.  Work began on the Hall in June of 1963, but the Hall would not…

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“I’m standing in Science Hall, earthbound.”

Among the World’s Fair anniversary media posted this week is this archival clip courtesy of CBS.     More here.   See all the posts in the NYSCI Archive.

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More Photos of the Space Park and the Hall of Science construction underway

As shown in this previous post, the World’s Fair opened with the Hall of Science still under construction. But the Space Park was on full display. Here are a few more photos of the Hall of Science in progress.            …

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Happy 50th Anniversary, 1964-65 World’s Fair

The 1964-65 World’s Fair opened 50 years ago today.  But the Hall of Science did not. The Hall of Science was not in the original plan for the World’s Fair. It’s inclusion at the Fair came after a prolonged political struggle between a group of…

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