National Geographic : 1964 Jul
separate wires. Towering apartments and ultra modern, two-block-long bus station straddle the sunken expressway beyond curling cloverleaf; the terminal can handle 10,000 passengers an hour. building in the world-at least until 1970, target date for completion of two 110-story towers proposed for a World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. "It was a rainy afternoon," she said, "and there I was in a stream of white clouds. But once in a while the clouds split, and I could look down in one direction or another. For a moment there was a little sun, too, and the buildings gleamed, and so did the pavements and the cars way down there-all so wet, all so clean. I loved it." I was happy to tell her that famed but shab by Times Square was sprucing up for the World's Fair crowds. The pedestrian malls would be widened and landscaped with shrubbery and hundreds of boxes of azaleas and chrysanthemums. Darkened electric signs would blaze forth once more. And the 59-year-old Times Tower, now owned by the Allied Chemical Corporation, was having its facade lifted in a unique manner. "We've stripped away all that Gothic ma sonry," explained an engineer. "But the steel skeleton remains. It will be reinforced and covered with marble and a lot of glass." Fair Expects 75 Million Visits The New York World's Fair-dedicated to "man's achievement in an expanding uni verse"-was making itself seen, heard, and felt long before its opening. The city had ordered 430 new subway cars to carry visitors from Times Square to the Fair in 19 minutes, for 15 cents. Taxis ap peared freshly painted in World's Fair colors -blue and orange. Every day brought word of marvels to come. From the Vatican, the "Pieta" by Michelangelo. From General Electric, dem onstrations of nuclear fusion. In the New York City Pavilion, a model of all five bor oughs-840,000 structures in all, with the Empire State Building a foot high; the great Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, actually 265 feet in height, scaled down to 21/2 inches. Thus the entire city fits into a space 160 feet long and 100 feet wide, for viewing by visitors suspended in cars that make them feel as if they are in helicopters. At the muddy World's Fair site in Queens I watched the rise of the Hall of Free Enter prise, of the Billy Graham Pavilion, of the Festival of Gas. Fair officials supplied figures: "One hundred sixty buildings [pages 84-5], 3,500 park benches, 6,400 public telephones. We expect 25 million people during 1964 and 1965, each making an average of three visits.