GROUNDBREAKING AT THE
EW YORK WO
OCTOBER II, 1962
The Transportation & Travel Pavilion, as shown above, will cover an area 378]/ 2 feet long and 183 l / 2 f eet wide.
Entirely supported by eight steel pylons, each 120 feet tall, the steel and glass structure will glow as a huge
beacon in the flight.
REMARKS BY TRANSPORTATION & TRAVEL
PAVILION AND WORLD'S FAIR OFFICIALS AT
THE PAVILIONS GROUNDBREAKING CERE-
MONIES, NEW YORK WORLDS FAIR, THURS-
DAY, OCTOBER 11, 1962,
ROBERT O. THATCHER [President of T. & T.,
Inc.}: Ladies and gentlemen, as president of Transporta-
tion & Travel Pavilion, I welcome and appreciate your
being with us on this important day. I will skip over all the
hard work that has brought us to this date. Not to be
overlooked, however, is the faith and financial backing of
many of you without which this Pavilion would not have
With tongue in cheek, I can say we are fortunate to
have as our general contractor one of the finest in New
York, the Thatcher Construction Company. We can also
announce with pride the following key subcontractors,
and acknowledge their cooperation and interest in this
great project: Courter & Company, which will do the air-
conditioning work, is represented here by its president,
Mr. Joseph Courter; Ingalls Iron Works, which will do
the structural and cable supports is represented by Mr.
Boykin ; Lorson Electric Company, for electrical work and
1962 New York Worlds Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
lighting, is represented by Mr. Al Cooke; and Cayuga
Contracting Company for excavation, piling and founda-
tions is represented by Mr. Daniel Lazard. Stevens- Adam-
son will do the moving ramps.
With this team we expect a speedy completion of the
project. In bringing the Pavilion to this groundbreaking
stage, I gratefully acknowledge the help given us by Mr,
Guy Tozzoli, director of the World Trade Department
for the Port of New York Authority and Francis Miller,
director of the Transportation section of the World's
Fair. The Port of New York Authority acts as agent for
the Fair in the Transportation area.
All the other representatives of the World's Fair,
headed by Mr. Moses, have been most cooperative in help-
ing us to solve the many problems which arise in under-
taking a project of this nature. Foremost among these
many people has been a man on whose able shoulders
rests the full responsibility for communications and
public relations — such an important part of a world's
fair. To many of you he needs no introduction — Mr
WILLIAM BERNS; Thank you Mr. Thatcher. We are
particularly proud today to witness the groundbreaking
of this outstanding Pavilion which will be in one of the
busiest neighborhoods of the New York World's Fair
during 1964 and 1965. 1 think as we stand out here today,
we are particularly aware of the part that transportation
and travel plays in our lives. We witness the planes flying
overhead and realize that we are right in the geographical
center and near the population center of this great city
— very close to LaGuardia airport, and just down the line
from Idlewild Airport, insuring that our anticipated 70
million visitors during the years of the Fair will find
their way here with great ease through every means of
transportation and travel.
For your information, it has recently been estimated by
a careful study that each hour some 83,000 will be able
to arrive by the various means of travel to the New York
World's Fair. We expect that many of them — in fact,
most of them — will be right here where we are now
located, to see the glorious building which will rise at
On behalf of the president of the New York World's
Fair, Mr. Robert Moses, I am here to make a presentation
to Mr. Thatcher. The only reason that Mr. Moses could
not personally be here today is because he is at the scene
of other activities with which he has been identified over
his years of public service. He is up at the great Niagara
Power Project which, combined with the St. Lawrence
Power Project, makes the State Power Authority the
leading power producer in the country.
\ Moses is up there for the ribbon cutting of the
South Grand Island bridge, and for the dedication and
groundbreaking of the new North Grand Island bridge.
He has asked us today to present to Mr. Thatcher the
official medallion of the New York Worlds Fair com-
memorating its basic purpose of PEACE THROUGH
UNDERSTANDING. It is with great pride and pleasure
that we now present Mr. Thatcher with this medallion,
MR. THATCHER: Thank you, Mr. Berns. By co-
incidence, this beginning of what we expect to be one of
the most brightly spotlighted stages in this great show
occurs on the eve of the anniversary of the discovery of
America. Tomorrow is Columbus Day — a living memo-
rial to the greatest of travelers. Today we want to honor
ourselves by enrolling Christopher Columbus as the first
and highest name in the Transportation Hall of Fame
which will be a featured exhibit in the Pavilion.
Columbus, pressing forward into the unknown — on
a ship such as you see here on my left — launched the first
great age of exploration. Viewing now the whole sweep
of progress since then, it is no disparagement of the inter-
vening centuries to point out that time has waited for the
present — our own day — to bring you the world's sec-
ond great age of exploration, and the instrument of this
Our Hall of Fame, an integral part of this building, will
give recognition to the men who have made possible this
new age in man's restless history. We invite the trans-
portation industry to help select the pioneers and heroes
most deserving of this honor. We hope every agency, cor-
poration, institution and publication connected with trans-
portation and travel will contribute nominations for this
honor role. After this, we plan to have an industrywide
poll of selection presided over by an eminent committee.
The Pavilion is designed to collect into a comprehensive
sequence the varied means by which man today takes him-
self and the works of his hands wherever he cares to go.
Here will be the vehicles and safeguards by which he
speeds himself and sends his products around the earth,
and into its most secret hiding places — over Mt. Everest
and under the North Pole, with suburban outings ticketed
for the moon and Venus. Into this building will go the
scientific implements which the services of American
private enterprise have so lavishly created.
And here on these walls will be honored the men who
have led the way, who have gone farther, fastest, first and
most courageously — those whose organizing genius has
created the means for going. You and I — average men
and women — now can follow them to the ends of the
earth in convenience and comfort.
A most startling upsurge in transportation, as statistics
seem to show, has taken place in the interval between the
two New York World's Fairs from 1940 to the present.
Looking at United States government figures on personal
consumption and expenditures, I find that we Americans
were spending at the time of the first Fair, in round
numbers, 7 billion dollars a year on transportation, and
twenty years later — 40 billion dollars.
This vast and growing industry, this dream come true
of advancing mobility, is the subject of this Pavilion.
Here also will be exhibited the alluring possibilities of
travel for pleasure as well as for profit and understand*
ing. Here will be shown the leap from a slow wagon train
through Arkansas to transportation at any speed, any-
where you desire to go.
We are proud to be able to tell this story at the Fair.
It is fitting that at this point I ask one whose name will
be foremost in our Hall of Fame, to put the first shovel
in the ground — Major Alexander P. de Seversky.
MAJOR DE SEVERSKY: I am highly honored to be
chosen on this historic occasion to participate in the
groundbreaking ceremony of the Transportation & Travel
Pavilion of this great Fair. I feel humble to find myself
among the great men who have been selected to be en-
shrined in this Hall of Fame. Personally, in all humility,
I must confess the primary justification I find to use this
shovel is my longevity.
Breaking ground for the Transportation & Travel Pavilion
are, left to right, Charles Stanton, William Berns, Robert
Thatcher, and Major Alexander P. de Seversky. Model ship in
background was present in honor of Christopher Columbus,
who will be listed in T. & T/s Hall of Fame.
I have had the good fortune co experience as an active
participant, all forms of transportation up to but, un-
fortunately, not including the orbital flights. As a boy,
I drove to school in a horse and buggy. Later, when I
was a cadet in Naval Academy, I ran a railroad loco-
motive as a part of my military training. Then came the
automobile and I became a goggle and duster man. As a
naval officer, I got a taste of sea when I skippered a
In 1915 I received my wings and became an aviator.
I have been designing, building and flying planes ever
since. Incidentally, I still hold a commercial pilot's license,
flying jets, so you can see jet aircraft already have become
an old man's airplane. In the meantime, rocket propulsion
came into being and now man is finally able to overcome
the pull of gravity and invade space.
For every technological advancement in transportation,
travel time has been compressed, and our planet propor-
tionately shrunk. I must admit the pioneering of my
generation, romantic and exciting as it was, pales in com-
parison to what is in store for us in the next decade. The
marvels of modern transportation today are only the be-
ginning. Not only will technology give us new forms
of transportation, but it will revolutionize those already
In the not-too-distant future, new and strange vehicles
will rise a few feet above ground, or the surface of the
ocean, and will travel at great speeds on a cushion of air.
The same principle will revolutionize rail transportation.
A monorail utilizing aerodynamical ly compressed air
underneath its car will provide us with surface transporta-
tion approaching the speed of sound.
Unique contraptions, no bigger and no more compli-
cated than a motorcycle, will propel a person through the
air with the greatest of ease. Eventually, all transport air-
craft will rise vertically and will travel at supersonic
Guided ballistic missiles, which now poise ominously
for thermonuclear destruction, will become the most reli-
able means of mail and parcel post delivery in a few
minutes, to any part of the world. During past centuries,
lack of transportation and communication was responsible
for the creation of artificial barriers among the peoples of
the world which led to friction, hostilities and war. With
the progress of modern transportation, men are able to
exchange more freely their ideologies and the products
of their toil.
Thus the artificial barriers that have created suspicion
and distrust are crumbling. Technological advances in
transportation will force the world to become a single
neighborhood. What is a neighborhood? It is a com*
munity of people who live virtually within sound of each
other, sight of each other, and walking distance of each
other. Through radio we are already in hearing distance
of each other wherever we are. Through the marvels of
Telstar and other satellites to follow, television will put
us within the sight of each other wherever we are.
And measuring the distance in flying time of jet air-
liners, and supersonic craft, we are within walking dis-
tance of each other. Once the ideological impasse which
plagues the world today has been resolved, the explora-
tion of the universe — the spaces endlessly beyond the
gravitation of the earth — will become the concerted
effort of all the peoples of the earth. Interplanetary trans-
portation will become a reality.
Thus the world is destined to become a single neigh-
borhood and the scourge of war will be a thing of the
past. This is why I feel that this Pavilion and what it
represents are of such great importance. Thank you
MR. THATCHER; I think it's fitting, now that the
ground has been broken, that we have a few words from
Charles Luckman Associates, our architectural consultants,
represented by Mr. Serge Petroff.
MR. SERGE PETROFF: Ladies and gentlemen, first
I'd like to extend greetings, and also my regrets that Mr.
Luckman could not be here today.
As a partner in charge of the project in the office I will
say a few things about its origin and about its design in
Mr. Luckman's absence. Basically, we tried to design a
building which would represent transportation. Obvi-
ously, we couldn't have a moving building — these
things do have to stand still. We feel, however, that we
have created a building which will have a sense of move-
ment — a building which will be suspended in air and
give the effect of not being securely fastened to the ground
except from the interior.
The whole principle of suspension will be used so that
the total mass of this building will really seem free of the
ground. This is our objective and, as our design has been
developed, I think we will achieve it.
Internally, the building has been organi2ed to permit
entrance through moving ramps onto a bridge which will
feed a moving staircase up to the top floor. The visitors
will then filter down through the building, like a foun-
tain over the exhibits, back to the first floor and out.
Basically, the designs are pretty well completed and the
excavation contract is almost completely written and let.
We were writing specifications this morning. This is how
fast we have to work to catch up to the work of Robert
Thatcher and Robert Moses.
prawtri bj (ij$S) UniM stitti stMi
William Berns (right), Fair vice president for Communica-
tions and Public Relations, presents official Fair medallion
to Robert O. Thatcher, president of the Transportation &
Travel Pavilion, Inc., during groundbreaking ceremonies.
ClWN^M WwU'i to 1H*-I**1 C*f * *+*
TRANSPORTATION & TRAVEL PAVILION, INC.
ROBERT O. THATCHER, President
A, ELLIOT LAWES, Assistant to the President
MARTIN O TOOLE, Vice President
MIROSLAU KOREN, Treasure*
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 A. BERNS, Vice President, Communications and
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