Century 21 Digital Collection
Preview up to 100 items from this collection below. Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair showcased Seattle as a space-age city. See photos, brochures, postcards and other items related to Seattle’s 1960s vision of the future.
Belgian begonias donated by the Belgian government
Landscaping, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “Landscape architects have praised the Seattle World's Fair, as it is unique among international expositions. For the first time, landscape design is permanent, remaining in the Seattle Center after the Fair…More than 15,000 flowering annuals give color and texture, beginning with daffodils and tulips, going through snapdragons, china asters, dahlias (the Fair flower, although there is also a Century 21 rose), begonias (5,000 donated by the Dutch government), and early and late chrysanthemums.” (Official press book : Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Century 21 Exposition, p. 71.)
Date: 1962-09-01View this item
Decorative detail on Kobe-Seattle friendship bell
Kobe-Seattle Friendship Bell, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). Seattle and Kobe, Japan, formed one of the first United States sister city relationships in 1957. In 1962, the city of Kobe gave this one-ton temple bell to Seattle to recognize the friendship between the United States and Japan. The bell was partially funded by donations from Kobe schoolchildren.
Date: 1962-05-12View this item
Food Circus interior
Food Circus, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle Worlds Fair). "Close to the center of the fairgrounds is the Food Circus, a great bustling eaters' delight. Ranged about the vast floor are 52 concessions, all producing food in its manifold phases." (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 137.) The building was constructed in 1938 as the Washington National Guard Armory (Architects: Floyd A. Naramore and Arrigo M. Young) and was transformed into the Food Circus for the Century 21 Exposition (Architects: Durham, Anderson, and Freed).
Date: 1962-10View this item
N.W. from Civic Auditorium; Mercer & Nob Hill Ave.
Future site of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). In 1956, the City of Seattle’s Civic Center Advisory Committee selected land surrounding the existing Civic Auditorium at the foot of Queen Anne Hill for the site of the Century 21 Exposition and a future Civic Center for the city. In 1957, the city acquired the property through condemnation. With a few exceptions, including the Civic Auditorium (which was transformed into the Opera House) and the National Guard Armory (which became the Food Circus), most existing buildings were demolished. This set of photos documents the site before demolition began.
Date: 1957-10View this item
View of steel skeleton of Sky Ride station at N.W. corner of World [i.e. World's] Fair
Construction of Skyride terminal, within International Mall, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). The Skyride of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). On the Skyride terminals, designed by Tucker & Shields: “Colorful sunbursts of half-cone shaped plastic panels roof exposed steel framework of identical stations from which visitors ride in three-passenger cars 60 ft. above grounds” (An Architect’s Guidebook to the Seattle World’s Fair. Seattle, Pacific Builder and Engineer, April 1962, p. 41). On the International Mall, designed by Walker & McGough: “Six hyperbolic paraboloid shells blending into a single fluted column make up two of the exhibit buildings; the third, not shown, is simply a box beam shelter. The twin structures actually are a collection of 52 of these shells and, with their classic Oriental overtones, seem to be particularly fitting for the foreign displays they contain. A fine, clean concrete surface was created by coating the four forms with fiberglass. High-early cement was used to cast the 1 ½ in. thick shells. With temperatures ranging from 35 to 65 deg., calcium chloride was added and cylinder strengths of over 3,000 lb. were obtained in 24 hours. Located on the northwest corner of the exposition site, the inside-out umbrellas with their colorful fiberglass panels present an exciting boundary.” (An Architect’s Guidebook to the Seattle World’s Fair. Seattle, Pacific Builder and Engineer, April 1962, p. 32.)
Date: 1962-02-08View this item
View south on 2nd Av. North; Swedish Pavilion lower right; Coliseum above Last day of confusion before opening day
View of Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair).
Date: 1962-04-20View this item
Canadian military tatoo [i.e. tattoo] in stadium: Northwest mounted police on parade; View N.E.
Canadian Tattoo in Memorial Stadium, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “Easily the most popular show was the Canadian Tattoo, staged in the Stadium. For two hours, Washington’s neighbors to the north dazzled--there is no other word--spectators with a show that traced the history of Canada, from fur trade to modern days, through its military forces. There were brief dramatic cameos; uniformed soldiers and sailors marched in cadence; kilted bagpipers and a seemingly endless supply of fresh horses galloping in the closest thing to precision that man and beast are likely to attain. At one point, a blank cartridge was fired and a hundred or so uniformed soldiers, standing side by side, toppled one at a time, like dominoes laid on end. Afterward, spectators could only say, ‘You had to be there! You just had to be there!’” (Don Duncan, Meet Me at the Center. Seattle: Seattle Center Foundation, 1992, p. 64.) Memorial Stadium was built in 1948 in memory of former Seattle high-school students killed in World War II. Owned by the Seattle School District, it was leased to the Century 21 Exposition for the Seattle World’s Fair. The Fair’s opening ceremonies and many large events were held there.
Date: 1962-09-16View this item
View S.E. Left Information Pavilion; Back is partial view of U.S. Science Pavilion
General Insurance Company Information Center and United States Science Pavilion, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). On the Information Center, designed by Austin Associates: “The Seattle World's Fair Information Center is located in front of the United States Science Pavilion on Friendship Mall. It is sponsored by the General Insurance Company of America, whose home office is in Seattle. A coral-colored nylon roof tops the open-sided structure. Ten trained guides help visitors with information about the fair, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. The guides, young ladies dressed in yellow blouses and brown skirts, have complete information on locations of buildings, exhibits and service facilities at the-fair. In addition, they will answer questions about places to see, transportation, lodging, service club meetings and sightseeing.” (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 64.) On the United States Science Pavilion, designed by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates and Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johanson: “The lacy pattern of this six-unit complex placed around a central court with its 100-ft. high arches is in decided contrast to the forcefulness of Coliseum 21. In a sense, the pavilion is a salute to concrete, for it is believed to represent the largest single use of precast and prestressed structural components in the nation.” (An Architect’s Guidebook to the Seattle World’s Fair. Seattle, Pacific Builder and Engineer, April 1962, p. 21.)
Date: 1962-02-25View this item
Pacific Builder and Engineer, v. 7, no. 14, Apr. 3, 1909
Date: 1909-04-03View this item
British Pavilion: Mural by Mr. Barry Wilkinson
Interior of Great Britain Pavilion of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). "Demonstrations of Britain's revolutionary developments in science and technology are the highlight of the pavilion. Research and development in surgery, atomic power, aviation, and space research are stressed. Industrial achievements in agriculture, marine exploration and automobiles are also displayed." (Official press book: Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Century 21 Exposition, 1962, p. 36.)
Date: 1962-09-01View this item