The Unisphere as it appeared at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair



"Symbol of the New York World's Fair 1964/65 is this 12-story stainless steel model of the Earth designed, built, and presented to the Fair by United States Steel.  Dedicated to 'Peace Through Understanding,' the Unisphere will remain on its site when the Fair is over, as a permanent gift to the City of New York for the improved Flushing Meadow Park that will be created on the fairgrounds.  It is located at the Fountain of the Continents near the center of the Fair.  Seen from the edge of the pool, it shows the world as it appears from 6,000 miles in space.

Highlights
The statistics.  The Unisphere is the largest representation of the Earth man has ever made.  It is 140 feet high and 120 feet in diameter, and - with its tripod-like base - weighs 900,000 pounds.  The sphere is formed of an open grid of meridians and parallels.  Laid on them are curved sheets of stainless steel representing the land masses; the capitals of major nations are marked with lights.

The Design
Unprecedented problems had to be solved in constructing the huge model.  Because the continents are not evenly distributed on Earth, the Unisphere, which stands on three slender prongs, is an unbalanced ball.  Furthermore, the metal land-mass areas act as sails in the wind, building up enormous and unequal pressures against the curved surfaces.  The structure required the solution of mathematical problems so complex that without high-speed computers planning the Unisphere would have taken 10 years."




The Unisphere as it stands today in the heart of Flushing Meadow Corona Park.
(Please ignore the poor fountain nozzle alignment.  It was fixed by my next visit.)

At the conclusion of The Fair, the Unisphere remained on-site and remained available for visitors' enjoyment at the heart of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Over the decades following the fair, the Unisphere fell into slight disrepair as funds to maintain the park dwindled in the late 1970s. It was refurbished when the economy regained its strength and has been beautifully maintained ever since by the New York City Parks Department.  

The fountains surrounding the Unisphere in the Fountain of the Continents have been refurbished and now run almost daily during warmer months for the public's enjoyment.

Benches nearby provide the perfect, shaded place to sit and reflect, read, or people watch.

There is no charge to visit the park, so it is the perfect free attraction for those of us World's Fair fans visiting nearby Manhattan!



This relic of the World's Fair is well preserved and is regularly maintained for the enjoyment of all by the New York City Parks Department.



As this relic of the World's Fair is currently maintained by the New York City Parks Department and is well preserved, no assistance is currently required. You *can*, however, let the New York City Parks Department know how much you appreciate the work they are doing to keep this World's Fair relic in great shape by clicking here.



Enjoy this short video I took of visitors to the park enjoying the Unisphere and surrounding fairgrounds during a beautiful day in September (2016).





Here are some photos I took during my visit to the Unisphere in September (2016).


The Unisphere still stands as an awe-inspiring structure.


Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a vibrant greenspace which is heavily used by locals and visitors alike.


The Unisphere with the remants of the New York State pavilion in the background.


At the edge of the Fountain of the Continents (the fountains surrounding the Unisphere), a dedication plaque reads "UNISPHERE - Dedicated to man's aspirations toward peace through understanding and symbolizing his achivements in an expanding universe.  Built and presented by United States Steel Corporation to the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, April 22, 1964.  Made of Stainless Steel, the Unisphere is 140' high, 120' in diameter, and weighs 700,000 pounds."


It's practically impossible to take a terrible photo of this amazing structure!


The gardens on the paths leading to the Unisphere from the U.S. Tennis Center are beautiful.


I'm always excited about seeing the Unisphere when the opportunity arises to visit New York!




Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a beautiful public space full of easy World's Fair finds for the amateur urban archaeologist.  In addition to a few lesser-known (and somewhat hidden) relics in the park, several pavilions still remain on-site...some of which still operate daily.  The Unisphere is at the heart of the park, accessible from all major pathways.

The park, itself, is a short subway ride away from downtown Manhattan aboard the 7 train.

Visit the park's official page and plan your visit to the Unisphere 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 this archival film about the creation of the Unisphere!





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!

John DePalma
Nicole Desmond
Joe Desmond
Susan Tackett

This page is hereby dedicated to these individuals.