6ROUNDBREAKIN6 AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
May 13, 1963
Excerpts from transcription of remarks made by
General Cigar and World's Fair officials at the
groundbreaking ceremonies, New York World's
Fair, Monday, May 13, 1963.
MR. STUART CONSTABLE [Vice President, Opera-
tions]: Mr. Cullman, Mr. Strauss and members of the
General Cigar Co., Inc. It is my pleasure to preside at
what will be one of the most extraordinary ground-
breakings to take place on this Fair site. The General
Cigar Company is the only tobacco company represented
here so far, and we are delighted to have you. I should
like to present a New York World's Fair medallion to
Mr. Edgar M. Cullman, president of the General Cigar
Company, and to Mr. Julius Strauss, chairman of the board.
Now Mr. Cullman will speak to us and will introduce
something in the way of groundbreaking which, I under-
stand, will really astound all of us.
MR. EDGAR M. CULLMAN [President of the Gen-
eral Cigar Co., Inc.]: Thank you, Mr. Constable, ladies
and gentlemen. You know, usually when you come out to
a place where there's dirt, grass, trees, you think about
going to a funeral. Looking around here, I don't know
exactly what I'm out here for. I presume it's to dedicate
our exhibit — which is not going to be a funeral.
We of General Cigar appreciate very much your coming
out here to share with us our pride in breaking ground
for what we think will be one of the most entertaining
and interesting exhibits of the 1964-1965 New York
World's Fair. At the same time we believe our pavilion
will be one of the most peaceful, complementing in every
way the Solar Fountain and Pool that will be just across
Cover: The General Cigar Pavilion, directly across the street from the Solar Fountain and Pool, is a rectilinear building
amid a generously landscaped area. The architect is Cecil A. Alexander, F.A.I.A., of Atlanta, Georgia.
1963 New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
the road — a garden and patio will occupy a sizeable por-
tion of this site, which totals approximately 15,000 square
feet. There will be plenty of benches around the grounds
and two maple trees will remain on the site, to beautify
and add some shade. There will be nothing startling about
the appearance of the building, but it will be simple, dig-
nified and serene, quite in keeping with the restful
character of the surrounding landscaping and the Solar
If our building and grounds accomplish their purpose
we'll make a worthwhile contribution to the pleasure and
peace of the millions of World's Fair visitors expected a
year from now. But there is more, much more to the Gen-
eral Cigar Pavilion. I ask you to use your imagination in
visualizing the interior, because I assure you that when
you see it completed next year, your imagination again
will be tested, in many unexpected ways.
We are going to have a magic show, conceived by one
of the most creative magicians in the country, Mark
Wilson. Many of you know him as the presiding genie
on the "Magic Land of Allakazam" television show. If
I told you much more than this about Mark's magic
show he would probably make me disappear in a puff
Stuart Constable, vice president in charge of Operations at
the Fair, presenting the Fair's medallion to Mr. Edgar M.
Cullman, president of General Cigar Co., Inc.
of cigar smoke, because he and everybody connected with
it are keeping the details of this remarkable show com-
pletely secret until the Fair opens. There will be magic
surrounding General Cigar, but I am not at liberty to
reveal anything more.
While magic will be the highlight of the General
Cigar Pavilion, there will be many other striking things
in this building: a variety of unusual displays will tell
the story of the accomplishment of the cigar industry and
our company. In the main section of the pavilion there'll
be an international bazaar at which World's Fair shoppers
will be able to purchase exotic and unusual specialty mer-
chandise from all over the world.
Now I'd like to salute some of the creative people who
have worked so fruitfully to develop the unusual concept
of the General Cigar Pavilion. Mr. Tom Byrne, will you
take a bow please? Tom is the structural display genius
who organized and related the many striking components
of the pavilion — magical and otherwise. You know this
thing just didn't happen ; we worked and worked on it
and I think we've come up with a rather unusual idea.
Tom had the able assistance of industrial designer
George Marek and of consultant and producer Gordon
Auchinloss. I don't know whether I can point out Mark
Wilson, he may have disappeared — Mark Wilson over
there. Now our architect is Cecil Alexander of Atlanta.
He's the man who made architectural sense from all the
wild and not so wild ideas of our other people. And finally
here is Bob Marshall, of the Turner Construction Com-
pany, who will never finish the job let alone start it, if I
don't hurry my speech along a bit. Thank you.
Actress Penny Edwards (Miss Tiparillo) "floats'* over the site of the General Cigar Pavilion at the Fair as General Cigar
President Edgar M. Cullman turns the first shovelful of earth at the groundbreaking ceremonies. Assisting is magician Mark
Wilson, producer of the magic show which will be featured in the pavilion.
Shown here are illustrations of various General Cigar Co. Inc. product wrappers.
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GENERAL CIGAR CO., INC.
EDGAR M. CULLMAN, President
JULIUS STRAUSS, Chairman of the Board of Directors
THEODORE KAUFMANN, Executive Vice President in charge
PHILIP L. BONDY, Sr., Vice President in charge of Sales
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR
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 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, Secretory of the Corporation and
Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer