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The pavilions of the nations and especially of the big companies were all intended as temporary structures. In contrast to the Chicago Fair of 1933, only few architectural novelties could be admired. The exhibition architects preferred steel constructions that could be covered with light plaster and glass walls. Buildings of that type could come in any size or form, the pavilion of the Radio Corporation of America imitated a radio tube. Hardly any building pretended to be a more solid structure. Replicas of buildings were permitted in only two zones: the Amusement Area, where the concession holders had only few regulations to adhere to and so the usual well-liked conglomeration of Chinese temples next to medieval English houses, parachute jump towers next to the childrenís paradise Liliput was set up. These were mostly tried and tested attraction from earlier World Fairs some of which settled after the event in the Amusement Park on Coney Island.

The second area with replicas of historical buildings was the square of the American Federal States. More than 30 followed the Governorís invitation to New York. Most of the pavilions were designed in one of three architectural styles depicting the main trends in American architecture of the 18. and 19. century: Spanish Colonial style, French Classicism and British Georgian. Pennsylvania set up a replica of the Independence Hall to stress the occasion of the World fair, the birth of the USA. The interior decoration contrasted somewhat oddly with the exterior, as the designers used rather modern forms, for example connecting the Hall of Democracy and the Hall of Tradition with an elegantly sweeping steel bridge suspended with a few steel ropes.

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The New York World Exposition 1939 & 1940
Cardboard Modernism and Replicas
Year: 1939City: New YorkCountry: USA
Duration: 30th April - 31st October 1939 und 11th



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