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.
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.
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
relic of the World's Fair is regularly maintained by the park's
operators and lovingly operated by the current carillonneur.
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
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.
you can do to draw positive attention to the carillon *could* result in
increased promotion, usage, or maintenance budget.
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!
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
Here are some photos I took during my visit to the Coca-Cola carillon
in July (2016).
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.
keyboard as seen from the pathway to the viewing area.
original New York World's Fair glass enclosure, cradled by the viewing
keyboard, sitting atop Coca-Cola red carpet.
from the viewing area to the tower.
the Coca-Cola carillon tower.
At the base
of the tower.
gorgeous view of the surrounding park and lake from the base of the
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
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."
some World's Fair relics.
Mabel Sansing Sharp performing one of her daily concerts at the
you stick around following the concert, Mabel may share her book with
you. It has amazing photos of the carillon in its early days
well as photos of the inner workings. She's always happy to
her knowledge (which is quite extensive) with World's Fair fans!
the book is one of the brass bells used in the carillon. You
see how it fits into one of the cabinets. Each cabinet
different thicknesses of bell rods to produce different types of bell
sounds. The cabinets, themselves, are practically silent when
are in the room with them. They use electronics to amplify
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
Mabel was kind enough to give me an up close and personal tour of the
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.
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!"
park's official website and start planning your visit to the carillon
by clicking here.
wonderful experiences from the New York World's Fair are still around
today thanks to the support of certain individuals or organizations.
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!
another video of the
Coca-Cola carillon I recorded during my visit.
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
to personally visit the remaining parts of the New York World's Fair
pavilions come true!
Sweet little Clementine Mabel
is hereby dedicated to these individuals.