The Coca Cola Pavilion as it appeared at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair

"The visitor to this exhibit samples five of the most spectacular places in the world, from an Alpine peak to a tropical forest - complete with sights, sounds, climate, and aromas. The scenes are created in an eliptical building two stories high enclosing a large court. In the center of the court is the Coca-Cola Tower, a three-sided 120-foot spire containing the world's largest electronic carillon, with 610 bells.  It strikes the hours at the Fair and is played in concerts by famous carillonneurs.  Among the other attractions are a special amateur radio center and a USO lounge and information center for servicemen.  
*Admission: free."

The Coca-Cola tower as it appears today in Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta.

At the conclusion of The Fair, the tower and carillon were carefully dismantled and shipped to Stone Mountain Park near Coca-Cola's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. There, the tower was redesigned slightly, a few extra bell cabinets were added, and the whole thing was installed in a beautiful forest setting.  The Coca-Cola Company donated the carillon to the park for all to enjoy.

During The Fair, the keyboard was displayed in a glass enclosure at the base of the tower so everyone could watch the carillonneur play.  For the installation at Stone Mountain Park, the glass enclosure was placed on the side of a hill with its own viewing area overlooking a lush, forested setting.

The bell cabinets, which were housed on the second floor of the eliptical building during The Fair, were relocated to a climate controlled room directly beneath the glass keyboard enclosure during the Stone Mountain Park installation.

The redesigned tower was installed on a small peninsular island at the end of a narrow walkway. Surrounded by trees, the updated design almost blends seemlessly with its new surroundings, thus adding to the beauty of the park.  Visitors can walk to the tower and stand under it should they wish to view the dedication plaque.

The remainder of the pavilion, which included samples of Coca-Cola products from other countries, lives on (in a way) at the company's "World of Coke" exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia.  The detailed scenes from around the world which were part of the Coca-Cola pavilion's World's Fair exhibit have been lost to time and are no longer available for viewing.

This relic of the World's Fair is regularly maintained by the park's operators and lovingly operated by the current carillonneur.  

The significance of this relic may be lost on the current operators of the park, as they do not actively promote the carillon to park visitors in any of their maps or pamphlets. Even their website has a relatively blank page about this attraction.  

This means that while visitors throughout the park can hear the carillon concerts, few people know where the music comes from or that they may enjoy the concerts (where they may watch the carillonneur) from the comfort of a shaded viewing area.

Visit the park and mention at the ticket booth that you are there to visit the carillon. Should you be asked to take a survey during your visit, be sure to specifically mention the carillon. When posting photos to social media, be sure to tag Stone Mountain Park so they will see your post.  You can also express your interest in the carillon by contacting the park here.

Anything you can do to draw positive attention to the carillon *could* result in increased promotion, usage, or maintenance budget.

Most importantly, let the carillonneur know you are there to see this still-operating attraction from the World's Fair. They will enjoy knowing that their work to preserve and operate the carillon is appreciated.  If Mabel is there, she'll even break out the history book and share a few amazing stories with you!

Enjoy this short video of carillonneur Mabel Sansing Sharp performing during my visit to the carillon in July (2016). Though the tower is way off in the distance through the trees, the sound was loud and clear. There are no additional speakers installed in the viewing area...what you are hearing is coming from the tower itself.

Here are some photos I took during my visit to the Coca-Cola carillon in July (2016).

Sign on the road which runs through the park letting everyone know where to find the carillon.

Once in the little teardrop-shaped parking lot, this sign directs you to the viewing area and tower.

The path to the viewing area.

The keyboard as seen from the pathway to the viewing area.

The original New York World's Fair glass enclosure, cradled by the viewing area.

The keyboard, sitting atop Coca-Cola red carpet.

Pathway from the viewing area to the tower.

Approaching the Coca-Cola carillon tower.

At the base of the tower.

A simply gorgeous view of the surrounding park and lake from the base of the tower.

A dedication plaque directly under the tower reads "This 732 bell CARILLON AMERICANA was originally erected as a part of The Coca-Cola Company's exhibit at the New York World's Fair of 1964-65.  It was presented to the State of Georgia by The Coca-Cola Company as a symbol of friendship and as an instrument for the enjoyment and edification of all visitors to the Stone Mountain Memorial Park. 1965."

Reuniting some World's Fair relics.

Carillonneur Mabel Sansing Sharp performing one of her daily concerts at the Coca-Cola carillon.

If you stick around following the concert, Mabel may share her book with you.  It has amazing photos of the carillon in its early days as well as photos of the inner workings.  She's always happy to share her knowledge (which is quite extensive) with World's Fair fans!

Inside the book is one of the brass bells used in the carillon.  You can see how it fits into one of the cabinets.  Each cabinet contains different thicknesses of bell rods to produce different types of bell sounds.  The cabinets, themselves, are practically silent when you are in the room with them.  They use electronics to amplify the sounds the rods make and send them out to various speakers in the tower.  For 1964, this would have been mind-blowing since carillons up to that point were pretty much all bulky towers with an extremely limited number of bells.

Mabel was kind enough to give me an up close and personal tour of the keyboard enclosure.

Mabel and I.  Thank you, Mabel!

Park Guests can enjoy live carillon concerts from the viewing area near the keyboard enclosure at specific times throughout the day.  The current carillonneur, Mabel Sansing Sharp, was trained by the original World's Fair carillonneur and is happy to meet World's Fair fans interested in learning more about the carillon's history and workings...just be sure to let her know that "the guy with the World's Fair bow tie said hello!"

Visit the park's official website and start planning your visit to the carillon by clicking here.

Remember...These wonderful experiences from the New York World's Fair are still around today thanks to the support of certain individuals or organizations.  While visiting these relics from The Fair, be sure to ask how you get involved to help ensure they remain part of our world!  You might just be able to become an important part of the legacy of the New York World's Fair, too!

Enjoy another video of the Coca-Cola carillon I recorded during my visit.

The following individuals contributed towards making it possible for me to visit and document this relic of the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.  I'd like to take a moment to thank them for helping make my dream to personally visit the remaining parts of the New York World's Fair pavilions come true!

Geoff Terry
Sonya Quiles
Sweet little Clementine

Mabel Sansing Sharp

This page is hereby dedicated to these individuals.