In this fall’s Itinerary department of Preservation magazine, three locals provide a virtual tour of historic Bethlehem, Pa., and the surrounding Lehigh Valley’s industrial ancestry and Moravian heritage. But for a better understanding of who these Moravians really are, we thought we’d share a bit more of their story, along with an outline of another area where their history and influence can be explored.... Read More →
The theme of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York was “Peace Through Understanding.” But as Joseph Tirella demonstrates in his forthcoming book, Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America (Lyons Press), the fair’s preparations -- and the United States, in general -- were anything but peaceful in turbulent 1960s America.
Tirella, a widely published journalist who has covered Queens, N.Y., for the New York Times’ City section, follows New York’s fair from its earliest days as a seed of an idea to 18 months after the last visitor left the fairgrounds and the land was rechristened Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
With great detail, he tells the story of powerful Robert Moses, New York’s “Master Builder” who used any number of tricks and tactics to create the fair he envisioned -- even when it became clear to the public that the fair was a financial disaster. He lays bare the political landscape of New York and all its major players, as well as all the negotiations and in-fighting that took place during the years leading up to the fair’s opening.
And Tirella takes readers past these planning stages to the opening day of the fair, when the pavilions were largely panned by architecture critics and the number of actual visitors fell far short of expectations.
But understanding the 1964-65 fair and what led to its disappointing outcome, Tirella argues, requires an examination beyond the fair itself. It requires a closer look at America in the ‘60s. After all, fairs had always been a celebration of cultures, nations, and ideas, with an eye to the excitement of the future. Why was this fair not greeted with the same enthusiasm?
To answer that, Tirella presents an impressive historic overview of the decade, spanning popular music trends, the political climate, Civil Rights efforts, and the rise in urban crime. He surveys the major players of the decade -- the Beatles, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Andy Warhol, for starters -- and the major events -- like the Harlem Riots, New York City’s crackdown on downtown bohemians and artists, and the Vietnam War -- to show that the world was changing in ways that no longer fit with the common ethos of the fairs of the past.
Tomorrow-Land will hit bookshelves in January 2014, just months before the 50th anniversary of the opening of the New York World’s Fair.
Until then, you can read more about the fair, and the current state of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in the Fall 2013 issue of Preservation magazine.
Written by Chris Warren for Preservation magazine
As covered in the Summer 2013 issue of Preservation magazine, it would be hard to come up with a more high-profile and historically significant place to install solar panels than Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. But as the price of solar panels and equipment continues to fall and people generally get more comfortable with this source of clean energy, it no longer requires a large chunk of federal dollars (which was the case with Alcatraz) and years of effort for historic buildings to tap the sun to meet their electricity needs.... Read More →
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I turned down the winding canyon road high up in the Santa Monica Mountains that, according to my GPS, would lead to the storied Saddle Peak Lodge.
After all, it’s hard to know what to expect when visiting a restaurant in an approximately 130-year-old structure rumored to have once been a brothel and a Pony Express stop (neither, it turns out, is true).
I was told there would an impressive menu of game meats and a certain historic, rugged charm to the interior. And, as it turned out, I was not disappointed on either front. In fact, Saddle Peak Lodge far surpassed anything I was imagining.
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This summer will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest and most storied conflict of the Civil War. You can read all about the effort to preserve battlefield monuments in the Summer 2013 issue of Preservation magazine, but for a round-up of sesquicentennial events for both weathered history buffs and newbies to learn from and enjoy, look no further than this list.... Read More →