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

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FEBRUARY 26, 1963 



Following is a transcription of remarks by 
First National City Bank and World's Fair offi- 
cials at the First National City Bank ground- 
breaking ceremony, New York World's Fair, 
Tuesday, February 26, 1963. 

COMPTROLLER} : Mr. Perkins, Mr. Moses and gentle- 
men of the First National City Bank, of the Fair and 
friends : it's a pleasure to welcome the First National City 
Bank as not only an exhibitor but a participant in the Fair. 
This bank has been an old friend of a great many of us, 
and we are really gratified to have them with us. Mr. 
Perkins, the chairman of the Executive Committee of First 

National City Bank, has a few words to say. Mr. Perkins. 

RICHARD S. PERKINS: We are all delighted to be 
here and to participate in this groundbreaking ceremony, 
and to have the opportunity to see this magnificent exhi- 
bition of what the World's Fair really amounts to. 

I was just saying to Mr. Moses that all these buildings 
running from $50 million down are most impressive. 
While we look small in relation to this, our objective is to 
make a big contribution by providing the Fair with top- 
notch banking facilities. 

Essentially we are a service organization. We try to take 
care of people of substantial means, and people of very 
moderate means, and here we are attempting to perform 
a service for the Fair organization, and also on top of that 
we are going to be exhibitors. Ours is an international 
institution which fits in with the international aspect of 

Cover: Rendering of First National City Bank's service branch at the Fair site. The steel, glass and brick structure will be 
surrounded by pools, paved walks, birch and magnolia trees. Architect: William Lescaze. Contractor: Diesel Construction Co. 

1963 New York WorlcTs Fair 1964-1965 Corporation 

Turning earth for First National City Bank are, left to right: Duck-Nam Song, secretary to the governor of the Korean 
Reconstruction Bank in Seoul; Robert G. Ehrnrooth, trainee Foreningsbanken, Helsinki, Finland; Thomas R. Wilcox, executive 
vice president Metropolitan Division First National City Bank; Richard S. Perkins, chairman of the Executive Committee; 
Robert Moses, Fair president; Alfredo Ossa, member of First National City Bank's Legal Department, Santiago, Chile; 
Jacques deBroissia, trainee from First National City Bank's Paris Branch, 

the Fair. Forty-nine years ago we opened up our first 
branch in Buenos Aires, and since that time we have 
increased our coverage so that at present we have ninety- 
one branches in thirty-two countries. So I think with that 
network we'll have some impact on attracting people to 
the Fair, and on behalf of Tom Wilcox and my other 
associates here, I would like to say that we are impressed 
with what we see — we would like to congratulate you, 
Mr. Moses, and your associates on the imagination and 
planning that you have put into this project. These things 
don't just happen. We think that you have done a mag- 
nificent job. 

WORLD'S FAIR}: Thank you Mr. Perkins. Mr. Perkins 
is quite right. These things don't just happen. This area 
has a long, checkered and somewhat dramatic history. 
I was pointing out to some people the other day that 

wanted to get a good picture by an artist who knew how 
to write, that the best description of the old Flushing 
Meadow and of the old dump that stood in the center 
there, is in the Great Gatsby. And Scott Fitzgerald did 
himself proud in telling about that. That's where the main 
action of probably the best short story ever written in this 
country took place. 

When I first looked it over we were planning to build 
the first parkway in part financed by the state, within the 
limits of New York City. It had been the tradition in 
New York not to spend any money on parkways and 
expressways in the city, but to let the city people pay for 
a substantial part of the work up state. That was one of 
the things that griped Governor Smith, and led him to 
advocate building the Grand Central Parkway. Theo- 
retically we should have levelled the dump and made a 
park out of it and put a parkway through it. We didn t 
have enough money for that. 


Robert Moses, Fair president and Richard S. Perkins, chairman of the Executive Committee of First National City Bank, 
shown in the Fair's mode! room holding the Fair's official medallion which was presented to Mr, Perkins during the 
First National City Bank groundbreaking ceremony. 

So we planned to go through the middle of this great 
ash dump, fatty to fifty feet high, which represented the 
off-scourings of Brooklyn for a period of some thirty-five 
or forty years. It had just been dumped there, and it got 
higher and higher. There were fires burning there per- 
petuaily, and there were rats so big that Track Mannigan, 
who was one of the original contractors, said they put 
saddles on them. I don't know whether they did or not, 
but they were big rats. 

And we levelled the dump and filled up the tortuous 
streams that ran through Flushing Meadow, but you'll 
have to keep in mind that the dump is still there, in the 
sense that it's underground, and that it does not afford a 
very fine foundation for buildings. That's one of many 
reasons why building anything permanent in this area is 
a very expensive business. 

As to the Fair itself, all modern fairs have the same 
theme which is something in the nature of peace through 

friendship, and open competition — inviting nations to 
bring their best products — and that of course is the theme 
of this Fair. Just like the shields of all the colleges are 
always praying for truth and light, and personally I like 
to get away from that a little bit, and I like to think of 
this in the terms of Mr, Perkins' touchdown, as a sort of 
a worldwide competitive thing. Like the Olympic games 
where you invite the best athletes to come around and see 
who wins. 

And there isn't any protocol, it's not states craft, it's not 
states departments, it's not diplomacy. Some of us as you 
may know really don't have the qualifications to be diplo- 
mats, but we do perhaps have some qualifications for get- 
ting things done. That's what we are aiming at here. 

Now this is a great bank, a great institution all over the 
world. It's progressive, it reaches out, and it has a great 
deal to do — we have not only our big industries here 
which know how to exhibit and put their best iect for- 

ward, and the states which are fairly familiar with this 
sort of thing — the United States government and city 
— but we have these foreign countries, many of which 
are new, ambitious, sensitive and proud, but don't have 
much in the way of experience and have very little money. 

And Charlie Poletti has been making a terrific effort 
to get them into this Fair, We've gone way out of our way 
ro bring them in, and to reassure them, and tell them that 
the great difficulties they anticipate are not going to occur. 

A great bank like yours can do a great deal to help us 
in this context. We are not exactly missionaries, but we 
are not in this business of the Fair for profit either, and 
we expect to pay back what's involved, pay all our debts, 
and have enough money left to finish the permanent park. 

Now we are delighted that you are here, not only as 
the sole and only bank, but also because of your interna- 
tional connections. I want to give this to Mr. Perkins as 
a symbol. I hope he'll keep it on his desk at the bank. 


RICHARD S. PERKINS, Chairman of the Executive Committee 
THOMAS R. WILCOX, Executive Vice President, Metropolitan Division 
JOHN E. THILLY, Senior Vice President, Metropolitan Division 
JOSEPH D. FARRELL, Vice President and Group Supervisor of Branches 
ROBERT F. BURNS, Manager, World's Fair Branch 

Flushing 52, N.Y. 

WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965 
Tel- 212-WF 4-1964 



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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, Comptroller 

MARTIN STONE, Director of Industrial Section 

GUY F. TOZZOL1, (Port of New York Authority) Transportation Section 

ERNESTINE R. HAIG, Secretary of the Corporation and 
Assistant to the President 

WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer