GROUNDBREAKING AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
MAY 2, 1963
:■ ,- ■
Excerpts from transcription of remarks by Inter-
national Plaza and World's Fair officials at the
International Plaza groundbreaking ceremonies,
New York World's Fair, Thursday, May 2, 1963.
RICHARD C. PATTERSON, JR. [Chief of Proto-
col] : Mr. Moses, distinguished guests, ladies and
gentlemen. This is a highly important groundbreaking
ceremony. The International Plaza will contribute signi-
ficantly to the success of the Fair.
Our first speaker is Mr. Allen Beach, director of
ALLEN E. BEACH: • Ambassador Patterson, Mr.
Moses, Mr. Goldman, Judge Di Falco, ladies, distin-
guished guests. Governor Poletti is unable to be present at
this ceremony, so I will say a few words in his behalf
and in behalf of the International Division of the Fair.
Several months ago, a group of prominent New York
businessmen, including Mr. Irving Goldman and Mr.
Arnold Kagan, came to us with the suggestion that a
series of small, attractive, easily erected structures grouped
together around a plaza, might satisfy the needs of small
foreign businesses as well as some of the smaller countries
which could not erect their own pavilions. After consider-
ing the plan, this area was selected and the contract for
International Plaza was signed with Mr. Goldman and his
We are now able to announce that several foreign
governments and industries, which had previously de-
clined participation in the Fair because of the expenses
of an individual pavilion are now taking part in Inter-
national Plaza, which, in essence, will be a fair within the
Our millions of Fair visitors will be able to take a tour
Cover: International Plaza, an attractive complex of buildings, will house the various exhibits of the foreign countries, organi-
zations and firms which will not otherwise be represented in individual pavilions. Ira Kessler & Associates of New York are
1963 New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
of the world on a short walk through the Plaza, which
will be adjacent to the Swiss Sky Ride terminal and sur-
rounded by the Swiss, Swedish and French Pavilions. I
know that Governor Poletti joins me in saying that we
in the International Division are very pleased that Mr.
Goldman and his associates initiated this idea, it definitely
serves a need and will make our international participa-
tion much greater. We are all very grateful. Thank you.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you, Mr. Beach.
The next speaker is a man whose tireless efforts on behalf
of countless worthy community projects have earned for
him the 'Man of the Year' award by the City of Hope.
He is the president of International City, Inc., president
of Gothic Color Company and director of International
Plaza. I am highly pleased to present Mr. Irving Gold-
IRVING GOLDMAN: Thank you very much, Mr.
Patterson. Commissioner Moses, Judge Di Falco, Mr.
Beach, Mr. Beaton, distinguished gentlemen on the dais
and very charming ladies. I am very happy to be here
this morning to speak in behalf of this wonderful exhibit.
But, of course, I cannot be the only one to take credit
for this presentation since it was a collective idea.
I have been very fortunate in being associated with a
man who has been at my side constantly, a man whose
ideas and whose thoughts are very important. I am re-
ferring to Arnold Kagan. Before I tell you about the
International Plaza that we plan here, I would like to
say that we'd like every country, every person who has
some knowledge of the Fair, to participate so that we can
bring culture and a better understanding to all people.
I know of no other person who has been so anxious to do
that as Commissioner Moses.
So, Commissioner Moses, on behalf of the Inter-
national Plaza, we have a gift for you that has been given
us by the Italian artisans. They are part of International
Plaza where they will display their many talents. It is
with a great deal of pleasure that I present to you this
token that carries our esteem and respect.
I thank you very much for coming here. I want to
thank The Honorable Surrogate for his presence here and
special thanks to The Honorable Robert Moses, the
greatest builder of ali time.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Ladies and gentlemen, the
next speaker is The Honorable Samuel Di Falco, Surro-
gate of the City of New York.
Presiding at the groundbreaking for International Plaza:
(left to right) The Honorable Samuel Di Falco, Surrogate of
the City of New York; Mr. Robert Moses, president of the
Fair; Mr. Irving Goldman, president of International Plaza.
The lovely girls on the bulldozer are representatives of the
various exhibitors of International Plaza.
JUDGE DI FALCO: Ambassador Patterson, Commis-
sioner Moses, representatives of the various foreign
countries, lovely ladies representing the various nations
and my dear friends. I think that we stand here today
dedicating and breaking ground for one of the most im-
portant projects in this Fair. It is important because in
times such as these — with so much chaos, confusion and
bickering among nations of the world — a project such
as the International Plaza is something which will help
bring together the various peoples of the world to partici-
pate in a common endeavor, to show their wares, their
work, their education, their culture and their desire to
be together in a common cause which will help to bring
about peace and understanding throughout the world.
I am very happy to be here today and am sure that
this project will be the success that you are hoping it will
be. Thank you very much.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you, Judge Di
Falco. Before presenting our final speaker, I should like
to introduce these young ladies to you: Miss Berit Lunde,
from Norway; Miss Erika Scot, from Austria; Miss Ada
Moran, from Spain; Miss Maria Nilsson, from Sweden;
and Miss Frederika Schuurink, from Holland.
The final speaker, more than any other person, is re-
sponsible for the tremendous progress we've made at
this Fair. I need say no more; I give you the president
of the Fair, The Honorable Robert Moses.
ROBERT MOSES: Dick Patterson and friends. What
has been said here is absolutely true. We have to have
a place for the smaller countries, the smaller exhibits.
The Fair is not wholly dependent, or even primarily de-
pendent upon the great big exhibits. We need them also,
but we want all the countries that can possibly come here,
and many of them can't afford their own separate pavil-
ions. In a way, it's just as well that they can't, because
if they can be brought together in a compact area like
this one — I think we have something that's unique.
We can't have a Fair consisting exclusively of huge
exhibits like General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and the gas
industries. They are very important, but they are fairs in
themselves. We need to cater to the smaller nations, and
that's what we are doing.
I think that all those who observe what goes on here
know that we have given a disproportionate amount of
time to the smaller countries, and notably to the new
countries which have never had experience in this kind
Moses, president of the Fair, presenting the Fair
ion to Irving Goldman, president of International
of thing. That's particularly true of the new republics in
Africa. They are ambitious, they are enthusiastic, they
are proud and they are sensitive.
Relatively few people will come to the Fair from
abroad compared to the number that will come from
New York City again and again — from the suburbs,
exurbia and the hinterland. But the impression we make
on foreigners is tremendously important, as is the impres-
sion that the foreign exhibits make on our people.
As you look around here now, probably you all feel
that it is a scene of utter and absolute confusion. Some
of our critics are busily spreading the rumor that we are
never going to be finished on time, that the highways and
buildings and access roads won't be finished. Now I urge
you not to pay very much attention to that; we are now
at the stage where there seems to be so much confusion,
so much dirt and dust flying around that it seems you're
never going to get out of it. But it's just a phase that every
big construction job reaches — it's just something to live
Now those who have been through it again and again
are not worried about criticism, and we're not at all wor-
ried about these crises and tempests in teapots — it's just
part of the day's work. This place is going to be in good
shape, it's going to open on time, and it's going to be
finished. I think the Fair is going to have as many visitors
as we promised.
RICHARD PATTERSON: Thank you, President
Moses. I've just been handed a telegram from Roger L.
Stevens, who was scheduled to be here this morning.
As most of you know, he is the chairman of the National
Culture Center, appointed by President Kennedy. He's
a dedicated civic worker. He's a producer who had twelve
plays on Broadway last year, and he's a friend of ours.
I'd like to read his telegram addressed to Governor
Poletti: "I am deeply distressed not to be able to be
with you Thursday morning, but I do want to take the
opportunity to express my support for International
Plaza at the World's Fair. It fills an urgent need at the
Fair, giving nations a chance to present their products and
their cultural achievements to a huge and varied audi-
ence. Also, perhaps most important, it creates a splendid
place for the interchange of understanding between
peoples of the world toward a lasting and creative peace.
Again my sincere regrets for having to miss the ceremony.
Signed — Roger L. Stevens."
INTERNATIONAL CITY, INC. • 30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA, NEW YORK 20, NEW YORK
IRVING GOLDMAN, President
MARTIN F. O'TOOLE, Wee President
CONTRACTOR: Hegeman-Harris Company, Inc.
ARCHITECTS: Ira Kessler and Associates
NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965 CORPORATION
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, Secretary of the Corporation and Assistant to the President
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, JR., Chief Engineer