expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

30 June 2006

The U.S. Pavilion

The United States built an imposing pavilion that became one of the architectual symbols of Expo 67. The structure was a 20 storey, 250-foot geodesic dome designed by R. Buckminster Fuller.

The pavilion was originally covered by an acrylic "skin", which deflected sunlight by day, and glowed when lit up at night. The Minirail passed through the pavilion, a concept that the designers of Expo would have liked to further exploit but unfortunately didn't, given the short period of time in which Expo 67 was actually built.

The content of the pavilion sparked controversy. The theme "Creative America" was meant to delight visitors, encompassing mostly the Arts and displays "from the nation's attic": Elvis Presley's guitar, Raggedy Ann dolls, cowboy spurs and guns, Indian odds and ends, etc.

There was also a very popular space exhibit, showing the United States' achievements in space exploration.

The pavilion was generally well received by visitors, except for actual Americans. American President Lyndon B. Johnson was alleged to have said "the homosexuals have had carte blanche!", upon his (brief) visit to the pavilion. It was clear Americans did not see themselves as just "cowboys and indians" and Hollywood pinups...

The U.S. dome still stands today, minus it's acrylic skin, housing the Biosphere, an environmental museum.

To see the Biosphere today click here.

photos: (1 & 5) alamedainfo.com
(4 & 6) library and archives Canada
(all others) flickr.com



Blogger stinkypaw said...

Must have been interesting to see with the "skin". That dome represents l'Expo for me. There's something "spooky" about that place nowdays, but that's just me!

3:36 pm  

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