Category Archives: Architecture

The Legacy of Modern Housing, part two

The Stran-Steel House at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition was unique primarily due to its steel frame.  The Stran-Steel Corporation used sheet steel rolled into studs, joists and plates instead of wood joists and 2x4s in their model home, but … Continue reading

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The Legacy of Modern Housing

While most of the buildings at all the fairs were designed and constructed to last only one season or two, many fair buildings—especially the model houses—had a lasting impression on fairgoers.  Designing Tomorrow curators have heard of many people who … Continue reading

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Walter Dorwin Teague on Exhibit Design

“…[T]oday many exhibitors come to fairs, not actually to sell wares…they see here an opportunity to meet the public face to face, explain the social value of their operations and justify their existence.” -Walter Dorwin Teague, “Exhibition Technique,” American Architect and … Continue reading

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The eclectic modernism of the fairs

Designing Tomorrow co-curator Laura Schiavo has said that the exhibition contains a lot of information, but at its heart it really answers a few big questions: What did the “modern” world’s fair of the 1930s look like?   How was modernism … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 6

The last of the decade and one of the largest fairs of all time, the New York World’s Fair was the beneficiary of ten years of experiment in exposition architecture and design.  The architecture was modern in form and function—“a … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 5

The Golden Gate International Exposition celebrated the modern industrial west, best symbolized by the completion of two engineering marvels—the Golden Gate and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges.  The fair was staged on another feat of modern engineering, the manmade Treasure … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 4

Cleveland’s Great Lakes Exposition, sited on 135 terraced acres along the city’s lakefront, celebrated Cleveland’s centennial with a nautical theme.  The exposition was characterized as “ultra-modern American” for its unification of architecture, landscape, and lighting into “one colorful, artistic, living … Continue reading

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