Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Unisphere was conceived and constructed as the Theme Symbol of the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. The Theme of the World's Fair was "Peace Through Understanding" and Unisphere represented the theme of global interdependence. It was dedicated to "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe."
Unisphere was designed and donated by the United States Steel Corporation and was constructed by that company's American Bridge Division. It's the world’s largest global structure, rising 140 feet and weighing 900,000 pounds.
Built on the structural base that supported the 1939 Perisphere, Unisphere is centered in a large, circular reflecting pool and is surrounded by a series of water-jet fountains designed to obscure its tripod pedestal. The effect is meant to make Unisphere appear as if it is floating in space.
During the Fair, dramatic lighting at night gave the effect of sunrise moving over the surface of the globe. Additionally, the capitals of nations were marked by uniquely designed lights that held four bulbs each. When one would burn out, another would rotate in place so that the bulbs would not have to be changed during the two-year run of the Fair. Both lighting effects are no longer in operation.
Three large orbit rings of stainless steel encircle Unisphere at various angles. These orbit rings represent the tracks of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and Telstar, the first active communications satellite. America was at the height of the Space Age when Unisphere was constructed, and the rings serve as reminders of America's early space achievements.
In 1989, Unisphere was completely refurbished and given "Landmark" status by the City of New York. Unisphere is the "unofficial" symbol of the Borough of Queens, NY.
- http://www.nywf64.com/ the website dedicated to the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair
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