World’s fairs are large public exhibitions that determine which creation wins the honor for the biggest structure, the most amazing sights, and the most entertaining event for the masses. Some of them have gone to becoming iconic that we fail to realize that they started out as products of world’s fairs. Here are some of the world’s most notable landmarks that were created just for World’s Fair celebrations.
During the Expo in 1958, modern science has been obsessed with the atomic age. Brussels, Belgium, decided to celebrate it with a spectacular Atomium, an iron molecule enlarged 165 billion times. The structure is 300 feet tall at its highest point and is connected by nine spheres that are 60 feet in diameter. An exhibition dedicated to the expo can still be found in this structure.
Buckminster Fuller Dome (1967)
The futuristic looks of Buckminster Fuller Dome makes it hard to believe that it was created long ago when the futuristic architecture was still hardly inconceivable. The dome was constructed for the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal, Canada. With a height of 200 feet, it could hold the US Pavilion. Twenty-sided icosahedrons made up of equilateral triangles were created to support the structure. The dome was donated by the United States to Canada, and today it houses the Biosphere Environment Museum in Canada.
Crystal Palace (1851)
The first world’s fair structure, London’s Crystal Palace, was built for the 1851 Great Exhibition. It was made up of almost 1 million square feet of glass, setting the standards for all the succeeding world’s fairs. The Palace was also the sight of the world’s very first public toilets, the use of which cost a penny. Crystal Palace later became an amusement park with rides, statues, and other entertainment. It was destroyed by fire in 1936, but some of the ruins can still be seen on the original site.
Eiffel Tower (1889)
The Eiffel Tower stands as France’s most iconic monument today. However, this entry for the 1889 Exposition Universelle was highly criticized because of its “temporary” structure. Standing at 1,063 feet high, the tower was once the tallest building on earth. Designer Gustave Eiffel himself climbed up 1,710 stairs on the day the tower opened to unfurl the French flag at the top.
Garden Palace (1879)
Inspired by London’s Crystal Palace, the Garden Palace was designed to look like a cathedral. It was built for the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879 and was largely constructed out of timber. It was used by the Australian government in 1882 when the entire building was destroyed by fire, resulting to a loss of many documents. The few remaining relics can be found at the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Powerhouse Museum.
Magic Fountain (1929)
Until today, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic still stands in Barcelona, Spain, and is made up of a dazzling display of 3,000 jets and 4,000 lights. Three thousand workers were employed to build the Magic Fountain in time for the Great Universal Exhibition of 1929. In the 1980s, music was added to the display of jets and lights.
Space Needle (1962)
Standing out against the Seattle, Washington Skyline, is the Space Needle that is originally a project for the 1962 World’s Fair. There are shops at the bottom and a rotating restaurant at the top. Today, the Space Needle symbolizes Seattle.
For the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair, developers of the Sunsphere chose a continuous park rather than building everywhere. Today, this iconic structure stands out so well and looks so amazing against the city skyline. High above the park is the Sunsphere, a tower that glitters in gold.
Tent of Tomorrow (1964)
The Tent of Tomorrow exhibit was built for the 1964 World’s Fair as many people in the 1960s loved looking at the stars. This architectural structure captured that spirit perfectly. The observation decks that stand tall over the top of the Tent of Tomorrow were used in Men in Black.
Tower of the Americas (1968)
The 750-foot San Antonio Tower of the Americas remains just as impressive as it was during the Hemisfair in 1968. It is home to a restaurant named Flags Over Texas. From there, you can see the Alamodome and the whole San Antonio landscape.