Skip to main content

Full text of "1964-65 New York World's Fair Groundbreaking and Dedication Booklets"

See other formats


S. Robert Elton, chairman of the board of the Pavilion 
of American Interiors at the New York World's Fair 
1964-1965, is joined by guest of honor, Mrs. Jacob 
K. Javits, wife of the senior Senator from New York, 
in the official groundbreaking ceremonies for the mul- 
tiple-exhibit home furnishings building. 


NATHAN ANCELL [Chairman of the Advisory 
Board Pavilion of American Interiors]: This must be a 
great occasion to warrant such a beautiful day and to 
attract this distinguished audience so early in the morning. 
I couldn't help but conclude as we drove out here that 
I had discovered the reason why Bob Elton said he only 
invited imaginative people. After hearing Mr. John 
Young, in his Fair briefing this morning. I realize the 
importance of imagination. Five or six months ago, at the 
original meeting of the Advisory Board, I made the mis- 
take of turning my head away from the meeting. When 
I turned back, I found someone had made me Chairman 
of the Advisory Board. That's why I'm here now. 

I'd like to welcome all of you very warmly on this 
special occasion, and at this time I would like to introduce 
an old friend of mine. It is always a pleasure to introduce 
him. He has been involved in the home furnishings indus- 
try for many years and with McCall's magazine for 19 of 
those years. He has been a member of the Pavilion of 
American Interiors Advisory Board since its inception and 

is now consultant to the management. I am very happy 
to introduce to you Thomas Bresnahan. 

MR. BRESNAHAN: I am not going to let Mr. Ancell 
get off quite so easily — he's one of the most distinguished 
gentlemen in the home furnishings field and has just 
recently been elected president of the National Association 
of Furniture Manufacturers. We are very proud and happy 
to have him as Chairman of our Advisory Board. 

I think I should start by quoting a remark made by one 
of our guests today as she viewed the diorama of the 
World's Fair. She said, "it's two years away and my feet 
are already hurting from just looking at this model." 

One evening last week I attended a neighborhood sup- 
per party with about a dozen couples. It was a scene of 
American life such as Norman Rockwell might paint — 
a typical group, representative of our consumer public. 
We chatted about the New York World's Fair and I 
displayed a copy of the latest Progress Report. I wish 
you could have seen and heard them. They were fascinated 
and plied me with questions. Their genuine interest sud- 
denly revealed to me that these are the people we are 
aiming at. They represent the America that loves a Fair. 
These people and millions like them are coming — in 
fact, they can hardly wait to get here and see the latest 
and best of everything. 

World's Fairs have a way of reflecting life around us. 

I 1962 New YorV Worldi fair 1 964. 1 965 Corporation 

You all remember the wonderful Fair of 25 years ago on 
these grounds. It's easy to recall its delight, its excitement, 
its amusements, but great as that Fair was, it lacked one 
big thing: there was no home furnishings building such 
as our Pavilion of American Interiors. There was no hand- 
some showcase to present a brilliant cross-section of Amer- 
ican products and ideas in the field of interior decoration 
to millions of people. There was no home furnishings 
exhibit at the 1939-1940 Fair, great as it was. However, 
this modem-as-tomorrow working edifice, the Pavilion of 
American Interiors, to be constructed for the greatest of 
all Fairs in 1964-1965, will be the last word in beauty, 
thanks to the imagination and perseverance of S. Robert 
Elton and to the loyal support of his Advisory Board, a 
Board which includes a score of the great names of this 

I repeat, at the last New York Fair home furnishings 
were conspicuous by their almost complete absence. Pos- 
sibly, the public was not quite ready at that time. Home 
furnishings were only just beginning the rapid rise to the 
high place they now occupy in the hearts and minds of 
American consumers. The great speed-up of communica- 
tions in the past quarter century has brought to the gen- 
eral public a consciousness of interior design. In 1939, 
TV had just been introduced. The miracle of high-speed 
color printing, which makes possible the impressive color 

pages of today's magazines, was in its infancy. The wo- 
men's pages of the newspapers had not reached their 
present degree of influence. Now, the stage is set, and 
the timing could not be better for the appearance of a 
Pavilion of American Interiors where all can see the 
results of an industry cooperating to put its best foot 
forward for a public ready and eager for a better home 
environment. Every segment of the home furnishings 
industry and the decorating profession will be here to 
implant indelibly, dependable brand names on the minds 
of Fair-going consumers, day after day, evening after 
evening, for two big years — 1964 and 1965. I say big 
years, because the economists, the commentators and the 
journalists have been dinning into our ears the fact that 
the mid-sixties will be years of plenty for home furnish- 
ings. During the two six-month Fair operational periods 
this international exposition will attract a majority of the 
new generation of home owners which has exploded, as 
they say, since the start of World War II. The Pavilion 
of American Interiors will dramatically highlight the 
fantastic product advances of the past 25 years. Just to 
touch upon a few, we can now offer the variety and beauty 
of new furniture woods and finishes, style interest — a 
primary merchandising force — new dyes, new fibres, new 
fabrics from the world of chemistry, radically improved 
new vinyl floor coverings and sensationally successful 

tufted broadlooms which have made the carpeted home a 
way of life for the many instead of a luxury for the fa- 
vored few. So for these two important years, 1964 and 
1965, this Pavilion will prove to a waiting world that 
attractive home furnishings have become an accepted 
necessity of today"s living. In the so-called service maga- 
zine world, I have witnessed the American woman's crav- 
ing for better family living grow steadily during the past 
quarter century. These women — your customers — are 
ready and waiting for the Fair. This beautiful Pavilion, 
for which we break ground today, provides the assurance 
that the Fair will be ready for them. 

MR. ANCELL: Thank you Mr. Bresnahan. 

There has been an enormous amount of work done out 

S. Robert Elton (left), board chairman of the Pavilion 
of American Interiors, looks on as contract for space 
is signed by John B. Stevens, vice president of The 
International Silver Company. 

here, with most of the initial construction completed. I'm 
sure that all of this would not have been accomplished 
had it not been for the driving, dynamic gentleman who 
is going to speak to you next. He is the vice president in 
charge of operations for the New York World's Fair 
Corporation, Stuart Constable. 

MR. CONSTABLE: Mr. Elton, it is my pleasant duty 
to present to you the World's Fair medallion. We are 
delighted to have this groundbreaking ceremony for the 
first of the multiple exhibitor buildings and we are certain 
that this is going to be a most successful exhibit. We are 
planning now how to handle the long lines of waiting 
people we expect to be outside your doors when you open. 
We shall see you all here in 1964. 

The 4-story Pavilion of American Interiors where 125 manufacturers will exhibit furniture, floor coverings, lamps, draperies 
and other home furnishings in a series of tasteful displays. The Pavilion, which will cost more than $2,300,000 to build, 
will occupy a 38,110 sq. ft. lot with 68,000 sq. ft. of display space in the Fair's Industrial Area. 

MR. ANCELL: We have had a slight change in 
program which, of course, is wholly understandable to 
all of us since, with so many vital pieces of legislation 
appearing before Congress now, it was just impossible 
for Senator Javits to be with us today as much as he would 
have liked to attend. I have a few comments that I would 
still like to make even though the Senator is not with us. 
I would like you to know that Senator Javits is as famous 
for his deep-seated interest in consumer housing and home 
furnishings as he is for his political achievements. It was 
to a large extent due to his support that New York City 
was selected as the site for the forthcoming New York 
World's Fair. Furthermore, his efforts and support were 
essential in persuading Congress to allocate and approve 
funds for a Pavilion representing the United States Gov- 
ernment. Of course, we are sorry Senator Javits cannot be 
here but we have with us this morning his wonderful and 
charming wife, who graciously consented to participate 
in our ceremony. I am very happy to present Mrs. Jacob 
K. Javits. 

MRS. JAVITS: I want first to express my husband's 
deepest regrets at being unable to join you today. Only 
the most urgent Senate business prevented him from leav- 
ing Washington to be here. As I am sure you know by 
this morning's newspapers, the current Senate session is 
in its final week and its members are now voting on the 

Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill. Since yesterday's voting 
on certain amendments was decided by only two or three 
votes, my husband felt it was his duty to remain in Wash- 
ington. We appreciate your understanding in permitting 
me to substitute for him and to deliver his greetings. 

Seventy million visitors, including ten million tourists 
from outside the United States, are expected to visit the 
New York World's Fair 1964-1965, doubling the number 
of visitors to the 1939 Fair. The Pavilion of American 
Interiors promises a visual and ideological impact espe- 
cially meaningful to visitors from other countries who 
will gain great insight into die cultural and economic 
values of our free society. More importantly, these visitors 
will see these values illustrated in the American home. 

One of the really concrete achievements of this new 
era has been due to the American public which is now 
recognizing and demanding not only quality in workman- 
ship but, equally important, esthetically pleasing manu- 
factured products. In many fields, the manufacturer has 
had to follow the dictates of his growingly sophisticated 
public in the home furnishings field. However, I believe 
it has been the designers and manufacturers themselves 
who have been responsible for educating the general pub- 
lic to a higher appreciation of and insistence on the well- 
made as against the shoddy, and the beautiful as against 
the vulgar. 

When my husband and I visited Russia last year, one 
of the things that impressed us the most — or should I 
say depressed us — was the drabness of the Soviet life, not 
only in the crowded living quarters where several fami- 
lies lived in a claustrophobic environment, but in the lack 
of imagination or beauty surrounding their daily lives. 
Beauty and the appreciation of beauty is such an integral 
part of our growing-up process that I am afraid it is too 
often taken for granted. Here in our country the richness 
of home life is a paramount objective of our people and 
with increased leisure and increased life expectancy, the 
home has become the basis of our social culture. 

The intelligently-planned, attractive home makes for 
a better and happier citizen. Education is abetted, and 
juvenile delinquency can be curbed. Our people have a 
great deal of unfinished business to accomplish in creating 
joyful and constructive environments. I feel certain that 
the home furnishings industry, through this beautiful 
Pavilion will play a vital role in helping Americans achieve 
their dearest aspirations. 

NATHAN ANCELL: Thank you very much Mrs. 
Javits. Now we will hear a few words from the gentleman 
whose imagination and creativity inspired this building 
and the entry of the home furnishings industry into this 
Fair. He thinks broadly, is absolutely dogged in his deter- 
mination, and is completely motivated by devotion to the 

industry. I believe we all owe a debt of gratitude to S. 
Robert Elton, chairman of the board for the Pavilion of 
American Interiors. 

MR. ELTON : I accept the official Fair medallion given 
to me a few minutes ago by Stuart Constable on behalf 
of all those present and the many who could not be with 
us on this significant occasion. Today*s ceremony is a most 
momentous one because for the very first time in a great 
World's Fair the family of industries grouped under the 
heading of home furnishings will make a dramatic and 
powerful presentation. This has been made possible to a 
great degree by the exceptional cooperation we have 
received from manufacturers, particularly those of you 
present here today. We asked for your help and we re- 
ceived it. We will probably ask for more of your help and 
I know you will respond. For the Pavilion and its hard 
working staff, for our advisory board and its chairman, 
Mr. Nathan Ancell, for our design committee and its 
chairman, Miss Freda Diamond,for our ethics committee 
and its chairman, Mr. Roscoe Rau, we promise you that 
one year from today you will have a completed building 
in which to house your exhibits — a building to vie with 
the best at the Fair in architectural impact, impressive 
exhibits, prevailing mood and atmosphere. The Pavilion 
of American Interiors will be a joy to behold on opening 
day, April 22nd, 1964. 


S. ROBERT ELTON, Chairman of the Board 
PHILIP ELTON, President 

NATHAN S. ANCELL, Advisory Board Chairman 
TOM BRESNAHAN, Specie/ Consultant 

gniUI bT (USS) Uaitrf Slita SIhI 


Flushing 52, N. Y. Tel. 212-WF 4-1964 

ROBERT MOSES, President 

THOMAS J. DEEGAN, JR., Chairman of the Executive Committee 

WILLIAM E. POTTER, Executive Vice President 

CHARLES POLETTI, Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits 

STUART CONSTABLE, Vice President, Operations 

WILLIAM A. BERNS, Vice President, Communications and 

Public Relations 
ERWIN WITT, Compfro//er 

MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section 
GUY F. TOZZOLI, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section 

ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretary of the Corporation and 

Assistant to the President 
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer