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Robert Moses, Fair president, and Ernest R. 
Acker, president of Electric Power & Light, 
Inc., break ground at Flushing Meadow 
Park for the nation's investor-owned electric 
utility industry's exhibit building. 

© 1962 New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation 


GARLAND S. LANDRITH, JR. [General Manager, 
Electric Power & Light Exhibit, Inc.] : We are very happy 
that the sun decided to shine this morning on our exhibit 
groundbreaking ceremonies. I would like to introduce 
Mr. Ernest R. Acker, chairman of the board of Central 
Hudson Gas & Electric Company, chairman of the Edison 
Electric Institute's World's Fair Committee and president 
of Electric Power & Light Exhibit Inc., the organization 
set up by the investor-owned electric utility companies to 
administer this project at the New York World's Fair. 
Mr. Acker. 

ERNEST R. ACKER: It is indeed a pleasure to be here 
today for this groundbreaking ceremony with my electric 
industry associates and with so many members of the 
World's Fair Corporation. 

In opening these ceremonies, I should like to read a 
gracious message from Governor Rockefeller. 

Dear Mr. Acker: 

It affords me much pleasure to send cordial greet- 

ings to all present at the groundbreaking ceremonies 
for the exhibit of the investor-owned electric utility 
industry in the coming New York World's Fair. 

Beyond question this exhibit of your industry will 
be not only appropriate to the theme of the World's 
Fair, but will also be interesting, informative and 
vividly illustrative of this nuclear age in which we 
live. I am sure it will be something definitely worth 
seeing and worth studying. 

With best wishes, 


Nelson A. Rockefeller 

It was just eighty years ago this month in downtown 
Manhattan on Pearl Street that Thomas Edison made his- 
tory by opening the world's first central generating station 
for what was then the large-scale production and distribu- 
tion of electricity. Since that relatively recent date, Amer- 
ica's investor-owned electric utility industry has paced the 
huge industrial and economic growth of the United States. 
Electricity in abundant quantities has become literally 
commonplace to Americans. But it has taken uncommon 
effort over the years to bring this silent servant to homes, 
industry and commerce throughout the nation. 

Since we are here today to take the first formal step 
toward building our exhibit for the 1964-1965 New York 

World's Fair, it might be appropriate to note that the 
electric power companies spend more money each year — 
over $3 billion — on new construction than any other 
industry in the United States. And in keeping with the 
international flavor of a World's Fair, we can take pride 
in pointing out that through the combined efforts of the 
investor-owned utility companies, serving about 80 per 
cent of the electric customers, and governmental agencies, 
the United States is the greatest producer of electricity on 
earth — producing more electricity than the next six na- 
tions combined. 

Without electricity, no modern industrial society can 
exist, and without full electrification, no nation can hope 
to compete in today's world. To maintain America's posi- 
tion of leadership, the investor-owned electric utilities will 
be spending about $140 billion — I repeat billion — over 
the next twenty years to build power plants and transmis- 
sion lines ahead of the constantly growing demand for 
electricity. That's a large sum — even by World's Fair 

Commissioner Moses has said the Fair will be dedicated 
to man's achievements on a shrinking globe in an expand- 
ing universe — his inventions, discoveries, arts, skills and 
aspirations. We honestly believe that the unique design of 
our building, expressed in the model here beside me, and 
the story told in our exhibit will contribute substantially 

to this aim. 

As you can see from this large-scale model, our exhibit 
building is a sort of pavilion of light prisms in an irregu- 
lar pattern — resembling a Gothic "Cathedral of Light" 
— rising to a height of eighty feet and crowned by three 
vertical pylons rising another forty feet. The pylons will 
frame a super-brilliant shaft of light rising from a mass 
of searchlights within the central core of the building. 
This searchlight core will be visible to visitors through a 
vertical opening in the building as they approach the 
entrance and of course the shaft of light above the build- 
ing will be visible from the surrounding countryside for 
many miles. 

The vertically staggered triangular prisms are metallic 
shells, the exterior surfaces of which will be fluted with 
thin vertical fins of multi-colored metal so that as a visitor 
walks past the building in the daytime, it will appear to 
change color. 

In addition to the brilliant tower of light after dark, 
the building will be bathed in colored lights. Once inside 
the building the Fair visitors will be carried through a 
dramatic show on an elevated revolving ring and will exit 
by a spiral ramp leading them past the core of the tower 
of light. 

As our progress here indicates, we expect to begin major 
construction on this exciting project very shortly and well 

The Electric Power & Light 
Exhibit, Inc., depicted here, 
will consist of vertically stag- 
gered triangular metal prisms 
rising to a height of eighty feet. 
Crowning the pavilion will be 
three vertical pylons rising 
from a mass of searchlights 
within the central core of the 

before the rash of building activity next spring. 

Because our groundbreaking today is, in a sense, com- 
memorative of the 80th anniversary of the opening of 
Thomas Edison's Pearl Street Station, we are particularly 
honored with the presence of a member of the Edison 
family, John Edison Sloane, grandson of Thomas Edison. 

Next, let me introduce Mr. Edwin Vennard, vice presi- 
dent and managing director of Edison Electric Institute, 
and vice president of our project. 

Let me also introduce Mr. Alfred Stern, president of 
Robinson-Capsis-Stern Associates, Inc., the designers and 
producers of our show, and Mr. James Fitzgibbon, presi- 
dent of Synergetics, Inc., of Raleigh, North Carolina, 
architects and engineers for our project. 

I would also like to introduce the chairman of our 
committee on exhibits, Mr. Ray Martin, of Consolidated 
Edison Company of New York. He and the members of 
his committee, many of whom are with us today, have 
been working closely with the designers and producers of 
the show, and are largely responsible for the interior exhi- 
bits in our building. 

Before introducing the next speaker, I should like to 
say a few words about this man who, more than anyone 
else, is responsible for our being here today. For over 40 
years, this master builder and civic planner has provided 
the creative thought and driving force that developed so 

many of the greatest public works of our times including 
our matchless parks, beaches, and bridges and hundreds 
of miles of parkways and expressways, and of course the 
great Niagara Power Development. 

He has served the people of New York under every 
Governor since AI Smith, and most recently has assumed 
the responsibility for the breathtaking 1964-1965 World's 
Fair project. With his inspiration and leadership the suc- 
cess of the project is absolutely assured. I refer, of course, 
to Commissioner Robert Moses. 

ROBERT MOSES : I think I can say without exaggeration 
or hyperbole that this is really a wonderful building. 
Ordinarily I am not very keen on buildings that are built 
from outside in as compared to inside out. We have too 
many buildings that are simply monuments to the archi- 
tects. But this is a beautiful building and you have room 
inside for everything you want to show. It will not only be 
attractive in the daytime, as Mr. Acker pointed out, but 
will be stunning at night. I don't know what I should say 
about this industry. I have been a sort of in-between, 
middle-of-the-road fellow in all this utility business. As 
head of the Power Authority here in New York at. the 
beginning of our efforts way back in the early part of the 
first Smith administration, we were supposed to be the real 
left wing radicals and socialists — that is what they called 

them at that time — and on the other side were the utility 
people. The two camps were just absolutely irreconcilable. 
I am not much on this irreconcilable business — the irre- 
sistible force and the immovable object — there is no 
sense in that and I think we have demonstrated, at least 
as far as the Power Authority of New York is concerned, 
that we can work in the greatest harmony, amicably with 
the electric industry. We have done that. For example, 
we are building a tie-line between the Niagara and the 
St. Lawrence system — a tie-line right in the middle — 
which in part is owned, controlled, operated, built and 
everything else by utility interests. It has been found out 
by the utility people that we don't have heads and horns 
and hoofs and tails and we are not as devilish as we were 
pictured at the beginning, and of course we have found 
that the utility people are good people to work with. There 
is no problem in bringing about some sort of basic agree- 
ment under which the resources — the electric resources, 
the power resources, the river resources — could be con- 
trolled at the source by the Government and then have the 
power distributed by the utility companies. I would not 
want to see any such system as has been planned in other 
states, under which everything from the development of 
water power and the dropping of the water through the 
penstocks to the lighting of the last lamp-post in the city, 
was done by the Government. I think it would be a very 

unfortunate thing. I don't think it would work. Now we 
have a partnership there, as we have a partnership here 
at the Fair. 

I have only one other thing to say. I am not going to 
attempt to evaluate or compare the sciences with the 
humanities — we could argue about that till the cows come 
home. There are people who want to spend all their time 
discussing why we don't devote more time to the humani- 
ties, the arts and all that kind of thing. We are devoting 
time to them. But what impresses our competitors most is 
this sort of thing, this sort of an exhibit. It is what we have 
done in the electrical field and what we have done in 
science which are, I am sure, the subjects to which the 
Russians are going to address themselves when we find 
out finally what they are going to do. They are impressed 
by this kind of thing; not by many other things we do, 
some of them good. They simply don't care about them. 

The Fair has as one of its objects the free competition 
of ideas and inventions which is bound to command the 
respect of the very people we have to impress in the long 

We are grateful to you for coming here. You are going 
to have our cooperation and I am sure this exhibit is going 
to be one of the great shows of the World's Fair. 


puaaM * (13) IWM Stilt. Stttl 

Speakers at recent Electric Power & Light Exhibit, Inc. 
groundbreaking ceremonies. Left to right: Garland S. 
Landrith, Jr., ge?zeral manager of the exhibit, Ernest 
R. Acker, exhibit president, and Robert Moses, Fair 


ERNEST R. ACKER, President 

EDWIN VENNARD, Vice President 

GARLAND S. LANDRITH, JR., Genera/ Manager 

JOHN D. GRAY, Treasurer 

C. R. BOZEK, Assistant Treasurer 


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, Comptroller 

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