Skip to main content
GROUNDBREAKING AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1964-1965
West Virginia Pavilion
APRIL 29, 1963
Excerpts from remarks by World's Fair and West
Virginia officials, and special guests at the State
of West Virginia Pavilion groundbreaking cere-
monies, New York World's Fair, Monday, April
GENERAL WILLIAM E. POTTER [Executive Vice
President, New York World's Fair Corporation]: Dis-
tinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to
introduce the Right Reverend Wilburn C. Campbell,
Bishop of the Episcopalian Church of the Diocese of West
RIGHT REVEREND WILBURN C. CAMPBELL
[Bishop, Episcopalian Church, Diocese of West Virginia] :
Now, may we lift up our hearts and our voices in prayer
to Almighty God for the many benefits which he has be-
stowed upon West Virginia and upon this fair nation of
Almighty God, in the times of prosperity suffer not our
trust in Thee to fail. In times of crisis, may our courage
be equal to the occasion.
Keep us ever mindful of our own motto in West Vir-
ginia, that mountaineers are always free. In the spirit of
freedom, in the spirit of unity, in the spirit of national
being, we ask Thy divine blessing upon the undertaking
in this international Fair, and especially to the West Vir-
ginia Pavilion. To those who find rest and relaxation, those
who find fellowship and inspiration, may they be lifted up
into a new sense of the brotherhood of man. And that all
the conceptions which have gone into making this Fair
may play its part in establishing upon this earth which
Thou hast given us, a true, a lasting, a vivid and a strenu-
ous brotherhood of man, under Thy Fatherhood. Amen.
GENERAL POTTER: Early in the history of our Fair,
we came in contact with a group called International Fair
Consultants. The leader of that group is Dr. Leonard
Stavisky, who not only in the West Virginia exhibit but
in other places including the Hall of Education, has shown
that he has a great appreciation of World's Fairs.
DR. LEONARD P. STAVISKY [Executive Vice Presi-
dent, International Fair Consultants, Inc.]: West Vir-
ginia has been fortunate in the site assigned to it by the
World's Fair. Opposite the seventeen million dollar Fed-
eral Pavilion, which will be a focal area of attraction,
stands the West Virginia Pavilion, occupying a plot of
Cover: Artist's rendering of the West Virginia Pavilion. This exhibit will incorporate the myriad attractions which have made
this State famous. A Radio Astronomy Sky exhibit will illustrate Green Bank's contributions to research in outer space. Archi-
tects and engineers are Irving Bowman and Associates and Frederic P. Wiedersum Associates in cooperation with Inter-
national Fair Consultants, Inc.
1963 New York Worlds Foir 196-C-1965 Corporcllon
34,409 sq. ft.
From the moment of entry into the pavilion, the visitor
will feel himself transmitted to the environment of the
State. Through guides, audio-visual aids, films, tele-
vision, dioramas and life-like displays, the visitor will be
carried to the very heart of the State, to Hawk's Nest,
Blackwater Falls, Oglebay Park, Harpers Ferry, the State
University, the museums, the industrial sites and the
hundred-and-one major attractions for which this State
is richly famous.
Speaking for my associates, I would like to express
our appreciation to Governor Barron, Commissioner
Smith, the Board of Public Works, the State Legislature,
the civic leaders, as well as the newspaper, radio and tele-
vision executives who have given this program their
wholehearted support and endorsement. This project is
truly a West Virginia project, planned in West Virginia,
by and for West Virginians.
A special word of thanks should go to E. L. Mont-
gomery who has handled so many of the arrangements for
this project and who will be the pavilion director. My
colleagues, Irving Bowman & Associates and Frederic
P. Wiedersum Associates, should be congratulated for
their fine architectural design. Finally, I want to thank
the New York World's Fair Corporation for this splendid
preview of West Virginia Day.
GENERAL POTTER: It gives me a great deal of
pleasure to introduce the Commissioner of Commerce,
Governor William Wallace Barron (left) and Commissioner of
Commerce Hulett C. Smith officiate at the West Virginia
Hulett C Smith.
HULETT C. SMITH [Commissioner of Commerce,
State of West Virginia]: Nine days ago, on April 20th,
1963, the State of West Virginia observed a landmark
of history — the 100th anniversary of President Abraham
Lincoln's Proclamation admitting West Virginia into the
Union. This afternoon we observe another dramatic mo-
ment in the future of West Virginia, ushering in a new
era of dynamic growth and greatness that is limited only
by the imagination, the earnestness and the ingenuity of
This building, conceived as a dynamic showcase of in-
dustry, relaxation, art, science, government, education and
the professions, is a source of family entertainment, a
subject of State pride, a fountainhead for new ideas and
a glimpse into the 21st century.
Since the establishment of the State Department of
Commerce in 1961, we have been earnestly planning and
building toward a future of West Virginia with new in-
dustry, new employment and new tourist attractions. The
New York World's Fair provides a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for us to tell our story to the seventy million
visitors who will come to the Fair.
Now, I would like to recognize those honored guests
who came from West Virginia to be with us at this pavil-
ion groundbreaking and to acknowledge the wonderful
cooperation that we've had from International Fair Con-
sultants, Dr. Stavisky and his group, Mr. Bowman and
Mr. Wiedersum. Our thanks also to the New York
World's Fair, to President Moses, General Potter, Mr.
Pender, and the many others who are making West Vir-
ginia an integral part of the world and the World's Fair.
GENERAL POTTER: It is my great pleasure at this
time to introduce Dr. Armand Spitz, who has designed
and built over 300 planetariums. With Dr. Harlow Shap-
ley, he is serving to develop the Radio Astronomy Sky
exhibit within the West Virginia Pavilion.
DR. ARMAND SPITZ [Consultant, Radio Astronomy
Sky Exhibit]: This is a rather interesting opportunity to
tell the story of the work that West Virginia is doing and
will do in the future to advance not only West Virginia,
but the knowledge and the understanding of the world
with relation to the universe in which we live.
I am speaking on behalf of Dr. Harlow Shapley, the
former director of the Harvard Observatory. He has been
working with us since the very beginning in che planning
of a demonstration which will help to make this West
Virginia Pavilion sparkle.
A great many states will tell their stories at the World's
Fair. West Virginia is going to be talking about some-
thing that is increasingly significant in the eyes of the
scientific world — the fact that it was selected as the site
for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green
The radio dishes at Green Bank represent one of the
new tools of astronomy, one of the new implements which
men have devised to reach out farther and farther into
space, to penetrate the clouds which so frequently inter-
fere wich the optical astronomer. Developments in astron-
omy emanating from Green Bank are going to help us
find the answers to still hidden secrets of the universe.
GENERAL POTTER: Dr. Spitz, my boss's great desire
since this Fair was first thought of was a scientific exhibit
that would show what you have just explained to us. I
introduce to you Mr. Robert Moses, the president of the
New York World's Fair.
MR. ROBERT MOSES: Some years ago we were trying
to get a planetarium in New York, and there was a com-
mission appointed by the governor to take various pro-
jects down to Washington to see if we could gouge some
money out of the Reconstruction Finance Committee. We
didn't have any money, but we did have great ambitions.
I was very doubtful of my ability to accomplish anything
down there, so I asked former Governor Smith if he
would go along to Washington with me to talk with some
of his friends on the RFC. I knew he was particularly
friendly with Jesse Jones. So the Governor went down,
and one of the projects we presented was the projected
planetarium for New York. Governor Smith presented
this issue very appealingly and by that time we had pre-
sented eleven projects — and by that time the RFC peo-
ple were very tired. Later that day, Jesse Jones called the
Governor to say that the planetarium project had been
approved, and that's how we got our planetarium.
I'm delighted with the space and attention you are giv-
ing to this particular subject in your pavilion. I don't de-
precate and I don't minimize the importance of the travel
Joining Governor Barron in directing the start of construc-
tion are members of the Board of Public Works: (left to right)
Joe F. Burdett, Secretary of State; Denzil L. Gainer, Auditor;
Rex M. Smith, Superintendent of Schools; John H. Kelly,
and scenery exhibits, but I think your Radio Astronomy
Sky exhibit shows imagination, and that's what we need
at the Fair. What you have here is a highly imaginative
thing. Anyway, all I can add is that I'm delighted that
you are here and that so many of you have shown your
interest by coming here. Thank you.
GENERAL POTTER: Thank you, Mr. Moses. I
should now like to introduce The Honorable William
Wallace Barron, Governor of the State of West Virginia.
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM WALLACE BAR-
RON [Governor, State of West Virginia]: I am pleased
and gratified to be here today. I want to congratulate Mr.
Moses and General Potter and their staff for the planning
and construction of the New York World's Fair. I want
to congratulate the people of New York City, the citizens
of the State of New York, and the federal government
for making the World's Fair possible.
Mr. Moses, on behalf of my people and myself, I ac-
cept this medallion with dignity, because in a sense it
reflects the initiative of our people and the tremendous
potential of the great State of West Virginia. Our pavil-
ion, this lovely luncheon attended by distinguished people
honoring West Virginia, and the great things that all of
you have done for our State have inspired me as an indi-
vidual and as Governor of the State of West Virginia.
And now, Mr. Moses, it is my privilege to present to
you with the best wishes of all the people of the State
of West Virginia some glassware made in West Virginia.
Mr. Moses, because you have been the inspiration for
the West Virginia Pavilion, and because you are a dis-
tinguished American as reflected by your years of dedica-
tion as a public servant, it is my privilege to bestow upon
you the title of Honorary' Mountaineer, with all the ranks
and privileges pertaining thereto. Because of the dealings
that you have had with Jesse Jones and others, I am
going to add another provision — that you are entitled
to Constitutional immunity from arrest while in the State
of West Virginia.
General Porter, as Governor of the State of West Vir-
ginia, it is my privilege because of your services as an
outstanding American and all the things as heretofore
have been said about Mr. Moses, to bestow upon you the
title of Honorary Mountaineer, with all the ranks and
privileges pertaining thereto.
GENERAL POTTER: These have been wonderful
festivities, and to close them on the proper note, and as
I promised, the last word goes to the Bishop.
BISHOP CAMPBELL: There are two other bishops in
West Virginia, Bishop Fred Holloway of the Methodist
Church, and Bishop Hodges of the Roman Catholic
Church. I think at this particular point I'm substituting
for the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Hodges, which
indicates that it is in fact an international affair.
When I was a lad, I was forced to study all about Moses,
and how he led his children of Israel out of the land of
Egypt, and he said 'Let my people go.' And he built a
highway across the Red Sea. I was a priest on Long Island
when another Moses came to life, and said: 'I want to
build an Interboro; I want to build a Grand Central Park-
way; I want to build the Northern Parkway.' Mr. Moses,
I bask in the sunlight of Jones Beach — and you built it.
For years, I've admired you, and now I'm privileged to
be close to you and to have you pay tribute to West
Governor William Wallace Barron (right) presents West Vir-
ginia stemware to Robert Moses.
We, in West Virginia, may not be the richest, we may
not be the biggest, but we are the freest — and we love it
— every bit of our West Virginian mountains. So, let
us ask God's blessing upon this.
Unto God's gracious mercy and protection, we commit
ourselves. May the Lord bless us and keep us, May the
Lord make His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto
us. May He pour into our lives His love, His light, and
His peace. That in His love we may not be lonely; in His
light we may not be lost. Amen.
West Virginia Pavilion
William Wallace Barron, Governor
HulettC. Smith, Commissioner of Commerce
Board of Public Works State Legislature
William Wallace Barron,
Joe F. Burdett, Secretary
Denzil L. Gainer, Auditor
Rex M. Smith, State
John H. Kelly, State
C. Donald Robertson,
John T. Johnson,
Howard W. Carson,
President of the Senate
Julius W. Singleton, Jr.,
Speaker of the House
E. Hans McCourt,
Department of Commerce
Don B. Potter, Chairman
Dr. Frank H. Fischer
Robert C. Hieronymus
Albert S. Kemper, Jr.
Dr. Clyde L Colson
David T. Kennedy
E. L. Montgomery,
Curtis S. Wilson,
Director of Purchases
International Fair Consultants, Inc.
Irving Bowman & Associates — Frederic P. Wiedersum Associates
Tel. 212-WF 4-1964 Flushing 52, N. Y.
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