expo 67 lounge

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

9 October 2006

The United Nations Pavilion

The United Nations pavilion was located on Île Notre-Dame, next to the Indians of Canada pavilion. The pavilion was composed of a circular structure of concrete, steel and glass, at the center of a raised platform. Surrounding the structure were 122 aluminum masts flying the flags of the nations that belonged to the UN.

Visual and printed information on the UN's history, accomplishments and commitments throughout the world were available in the pavilion's main hall. In a central exhibit, the United Nation's charter could be observed. It was also in this area that UN agencies' work was documented in displays that changed on a weekly basis.

The Academy award winning film To Be Alive was projected in a 100-seat theatre located below the central hall. The movie's aim was to show the similarities of children growing up in various parts of the world. Produced by the Johnson Wax Company of the U.S., it was the main attraction of the Johnson Wax pavilion at the 1964 New York World's fair.

The UN pavilion also contained a post office which issued United Nation's stamps. These special stamps could be used for mailing purposes, under a unique agreement with Canada Post. In all, 5 commemorative stamps were put out by the UN during Expo 67. This proved very popular with stamp enthusiasts...

The Restaurant of all Nations offered Expo visitors a diverse and exotic menu on a terrace that faced the St Lawrence river.

One of the most striking (and most photographed) elements of the United Nations pavilion was the Tree of Life sculpture located near the pavilion's entrance. It was carved by famous Italian wood carver Joseph "Peppi" Rifesser out of a 150 year-old chesnut tree. Featuring 5 faces that represented the populations of 5 continents, the Tree of Life was a plea for equality and unity among nations.

After Expo, the Tree of Life was given to the city of Montreal. It was moved to the Lionel-Groulx metro station upon it's inauguration in 1978.

Click here to see a photo of the sculpture as it appears today.

photos: (top) alamedainfo.com
(bottom) expo67.ncf.ca



Blogger stinkypaw said...

Would you happen to know when that tree was moved in Lionel-Groulx? I took that station for all my teen years (lived in walking distance to that station until I was 21), and I can't remember that tree - it does look familiar, and yet...

10:35 pm  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

The info that I found said it was moved there in 1978, the year the Lionel Groulx station was opened.

Unfortunately, the tree is easy to overlook, which is a shame considering it's beauty (and heritage...)

8:22 pm  

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