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
Mexico Pavilion; Self portrait (see other photo of same subject without portrait)
Government of Mexico Pavilion, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “Set off by red lavastone and amberglass walls, the Mexican pavilion offers a collection of leather goods, glassware, Indian blankets, bright cloth and clay and china pottery. Jewelry is displayed in a modernistic setting. The designers of the pavilion, Pedro Vasquez and Rafael Mijares, are from Mexico City. Mr. Molino, Director” (Official press book : Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Century 21 Exposition, p. 37.)
Date: 1962-10View this item
View north across lower pool U.S. Science Bldg.
United States Science Pavilion, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair). “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: 1962-04-11View 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
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 east of plaza south of Coliseum with Space Needle
Little Hippo Inn / Hippo Burger Restaurant, Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's Fair). "Snacks and meals are available almost anywhere you go on the fairgrounds. In addition to the food concessions to be found in the fabulous Food Circus...there are places to eat in every area." (Official Guide Book, Seattle World's Fair 1962. Seattle: Acme Publications. p. 135.)
Date: 1962-07View this item
One of 2 lions at entrance to World's Fair Museum
The World’s Fair Museum operated on the grounds of the Seattle Center, in the former United Arab Republic Pavilion of the Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World’s Fair), during the summer of 1963. It displayed photographs and artifacts from the fair.
Date: 1963-08-16View 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