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.
Brusselles [i.e. Bruxelles] Waffle House; Opera House right background; view N.E.
Belgian Waffle House (Gaufres de Bruxelles), Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair): "Belgian waffles are famous for being widely introduced at a worlds fair, and most reference books say that it was the 1964-1965 New York Worlds Fair. They are wrong. The tasty treats were a hit first in Seattle. The New York version was a lighter waffle and is better known today, but the Belgian Waffle House was a popular spot with the Seattle crowds." (Bill Cotter, Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. 2010: Arcadia Publishing, p. 101.)
Date: 1962-04-01View this item
2 houses 165 (left) and 161 (right west) Harrison Str.
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: 1957View this item
Space Needle & House of Light [i.e. Plywood Home of Living Light]; View S.E.
Space Needle and Plywood Home of Living Light exhibit, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). On the Space Needle: “The Space Needle, a modernistic totem of the Seattle World’s Fair, was conceived by Eddie Carlson as a doodle in 1959 and given form by architects John Graham Jr., Victor Steinbrueck, and John Ridley. When King County declined to fund the project, five private investors, Bagley Wright, Ned Skinner, Norton Clapp, John Graham Jr., and Howard S. Wright, took over and built the 605-foot tower in less than a year.” (Walt Crowley, “Space Needle (Seattle).” HistoryLink.org, http://historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=1424) On the Plywood Home of Living Light: "The unique Home of Living Light for Tomorrow, The Douglas Fir Plywood Association Exhibit which dramatizes the many possibilities of a completely new approach to home construction, is located on Freedom Way, at the north end of the Boulevards of the World. The Practical Builder, a trade publication, cooperated in the design of the house, which was created by the Tacoma architectural firm of Liddle and Jones. The walls are made of continuous wood paneling which, like corrugated packing paper, is rigid in one direction and flexible in the other. The results are walls that can take shape and still support the required roof loads." (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 47.)
Date: 1962-04-28View this item
Coliseum under construction; Architect: Paul Thiry; View north
Washington State Coliseum, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “Superlatives are helpful in describing the fair’s $4 million theme building, for it is one of the largest clear span structures in the world; and the aluminum roof, the only one of its kind in existence, sweeps 110 ft. into the air at the apex, supported by steel compression trusses rising from massive concrete abutments.” (An Architect’s Guidebook to the Seattle World’s Fair. Seattle, Pacific Builder and Engineer, April 1962, p. 17.)
Date: 1961-03View this item
View N.W. of Skyride from Gay Way [i.e. Gayway]
The Skyride of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “The Skyride, which starts in the amusement zone, ends in the International Mall on the other side of the Fairgrounds. It is something more than the typical midway ride. Cables strung 60 and more feet above the ground carry bucket-like cars, with capacities of three persons, on a 1,400 foot sky ride. The passengers see the fair below them.” (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 115.)
Date: 1962-04-18View this item
Entrance to Alaskan Pavilion at Century 21
Alaska Pavilion of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). "The National Bank of Commerce of Washington, which erected the building for Alaska, provides information for visitors interested in the economic development of the 49th state." The Alaska Pavilion featured displays on the social and economic story of Alaska including a projection of the Aurora Borealis on the dome of the pavilion and color photographs of Alaska scenery and landmarks. (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 47.)
Date: 1962-04-28View this item
Coliseum: Official French exhibit
Government of France Exhibit, in the Washington State Coliseum at the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). "Seven keys -- not answers -- to happiness in the world of tomorrow are graphically portrayed. The conclusion of the exhibit springs out of Gaston Bergers spiritual testimony, Intelligence without love is nothing. There is a section of French contributions to science, and before presenting the seven keys, a short movie develops the theme of air-supported devices." (Official press book: Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Century 21 Exposition, 1962, p. 33.)
Date: 1962-06-10View this item
Seattle World's Fair
Seattle World's Fair; Seattle World's Fair Information Booth and Space Needle
Date: 1962View this item
Sunny last day; view So. On Blvd. East (3rd Ave. No.)
Boulevards of the World at the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). "The Boulevards of the World area is the shopping center of the fair. Stores, stands and kiosks displaying the goods and gifts of a dozen nations line the gay and colorful thoroughfares that tie the five theme Worlds of Century 21 together." (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 119.)
Date: 1962-10-21View this item
View inside of Food Circus (Armory)
The Food Circus of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's 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: 1962-06-03View this item