World Fairs Monuments

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 28 September 2021
World Fairs Monuments

World fairs originated in the French tradition of national exhibitions that culminated with the French Industrial Exposition of 1844 held in Paris. This fair was followed by other national exhibitions in continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

Crystal Palace, London

World Fairs MonumentsBuilt by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition in 185, the Crystal Palace marked the greatest span of glass on a building at that time. The building was later destroyed by a fire.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

World Fairs Monuments

One of the most famous landmarks in the world was, at the time of its construction for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, also the tallest building on earth, at 1,063 feet high. Before its opening, plans for the structure were met with scorn. Notable artists, including Guy de Maupassant and Paris Opera architect Charles Garnier even signed a letter in Le Temps that called it a "dizzyingly ridiculous tower dominating Paris." Still, Gustave Eiffel, an engineer by trade, persevered, and on the day of its opening he climbed the 1,710 stairs himself to unfurl the French flag at the summit.

The Palace of Fine Arts, Chicago

World Fairs MonumentsOne of Chicago’s most prevalent but overlooked cultural contributions is not a building—it’s the Ferris wheel, first unveiled at the 1893 World’s Fair. More than 120 years later, Chicago adds to its legacy with a new Ferris wheel on Navy Pier.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco

World Fairs MonumentsTreasure Island, sitting underneath the Bay Bridge, was built to celebrate the opening of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, which coincided with the 1939 World Fair.

The Atomium, Brussels

World Fairs Monuments

Inspired by the dawn of the Atomic Age, engineer André Waterkeyn designed a structure for Expo ’58 based on an iron molecule enlarged 165 billion times: the Atomium. Each of the nine interconnected spheres is about 60 feet in diameter, and the highest rises to more than 300 feet. Today, the Atomium still houses an exhibition dedicated to the expo, in addition to other rotating installations and a restaurant with panoramic views on the eighth level.

The Space Needle, Seattle

World Fairs MonumentsThe blueprints for the 605-foot-tall Space Needle were so precisely planned that, when it opened, the rotating restaurant could revolve using only a one-horsepower motor. Since the 1962 World’s Fair, the technology has been refined so that the SkyCity restaurant needs only a 1 ½-horsepower motor to turn in a circle. The tower also boasts an observation deck and events space, with shops down below.

The Unisphere, New York City

World Fairs MonumentsFlushing Meadows–Corona Park in New York City has hosted two World’s Fairs: one in 1939 and one in 1964. And those fairs boasted many impressive landmarks, including the 610-foot-tall Trylon spire and the “UFOs” of the New York State Pavilion. But the Unisphere is one of the most well-known—and longest-lasting. Designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the steel sphere was, at the time, the largest globe ever constructed, rising 140 feet and weighing 900,000 pounds (including its base). Today, it’s still an icon of the city; try spotting it from your plane when landing at LaGuardia.

Biosphere, Montreal

World Fairs Monuments

Built by R. Buckminster Fuller for the 1967 World Fair, the Biosphere is located at Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Saint Helen's Island. Since 2007, the building has been an environmental museum, focusing on water, climate change, and sustainability.

The Sunsphere, Knoxville

World Fairs MonumentsLike a giant disco ball in the sky, the 266-foot-tall Sunsphere beckoned visitors to the World's Fair in 1982. It was constructed out of 360 panes of glass (about 14,000 square feet of glass overall—much less than London’s Crystal Palace a century earlier) and laminated with a gold-dust-filled vinyl, which gave the sphere its color. Today, the Sunsphere is a place for one of the cheapest dates in Knoxville—there's no charge to take the elevator to the observation deck. And, if the date goes well, the Sunsphere can also be rented out as a location for weddings.

Canada Place, Vancouver

World Fairs MonumentsLooking like a cross between a sailboat and the Sydney Opera House, Canada Place serves many purposes. Not only was it the home of the Canada Pavilion during the Expo '86, it’s also now a convention center, a hotel, an office building, a cruise-ship terminal, a retail center, and a promenade (and its "sails" light up at night). Last year, the site hosted a festival for Canada Day that featured 30 bands on three stages.

Hanbit-Tap (Tower of Grand Light), South Korea

World Fairs Monuments

Standing more than 300 feet tall, South Korea's Hanbit Tower was designed to recall Cheomseongdae, an ancient Korean astronomical observatory, though what surrounds it is decidedly more modern. The site of the fair still operates as the Expo Science Park, which houses an IMAX dome theater, simulation rides, and a an electric energy pavilion. The observation deck in the Hanbit Tower gives a bird's-eye-view of all the park's attractions.

The Millennium Dome, London

World Fairs MonumentsLocated right on the prime meridian and in the home of Greenwich Mean Time, London's Millennium Dome fittingly resembles a clock, with 12 yellow masts sticking up out of a gleaming white "face". (Project director Mike Davies was into astronomy, so the number 12 also references the months of the year and constellations in the zodiac.) Architects at the Richard Rogers Partnership took a beating in the press when it opened as part of the nationwide Millennium Festival, partially because of political posturing surrounding the project, but residents today still visit the Millennium Dome—rebranded the O2 Arena—to see concerts. It also hosted basketball and gymnastic events during the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

The China Art Palace, Shanghai

World Fairs MonumentsLike other World's Fair structures, the iconic China pavilion of the 2010 Expo has taken on a second life as an art museum—a really, really big one. The China Art Palace has more than 160,000 square meters of exhibition space covering five floors. One of the Expo highlights, "Along the River During Qingming Festival," a digitally animated rendering of an ancient scroll, is still on exhibit within.

Expo202, Dubai

World Fairs MonumentsThe first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with many reasons to be counted as one of the most important in exposition history. Fondly referred to as the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai, Al Wasl Plaza is a visual marvel for the visitor for its striking scale; it's got a 130-metre-wide, 67.5-metre-tall dome that doubles as a 360-degree laser projection surface, making it the largest of its kind.

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