This Early Concept for the 1964 Ford Pavilion Was Googie-tastic

Above we see an early planning illustration for the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. This design is a bit wilder than the one they actually built, which you can see below.

Those swooping corridors — while decidedly more tame in their trajectory in its final built form — did include one of the more popular attractions at the Fair: the Magic Skyway.


The Magic Skyway ride took visitors from the distant past to the far-out future. No less than a "highway in the sky carrying you across the boundless night and out into time and space." Fairgoers rode in shiny Ford convertibles along a track, naturally.

Looking at the photo of the finished building below one can't help but be reminded that the 1964 Fair was as much about nostalgia for the 1939 Fair as it was about imagining the future. The design above appears much more playful; more willing to embrace the goofier aspects of midcentury Googie. While the finished building below would've been right at home at the 1939 Fair.

Either way, it still would've been fun to see.


Images: Scanned from the book Designing Disney by John Hench; Actual Ford Pavilion via the Ford Motor Company archive


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