Fair and Festival – No.12: The Ford Pavilion

(Click TWICE to Enlarge)

More than their latest models the Ford company’s Century-21 pavilion was about space, influenced by Sputnik and Buckminster Fuller – a geodesic cap or crown for thinking about space.  On its “An Adventure in Outer Space” one flew through the close universe of planets and satellites.  I did not visit it, but imagine that it was by today’s simulated trips a passive journey – like TV more than Disneyland.  (Neither have I “visited” video games.)  Even on Ford’s budget such a trip would be hard to create convincingly in 1962.  But with a willing suspension of one’s critical faculties who needs to be convinced?  Well, you and I do.  This reminds me of the Great Fire of 1666 kinetic diorama at the Museum of London History, which Jean and I visited with a trot in 2005.  For a recreation of the fire that flatted much of London one stood in a darkened closet and really suspended one’s disbelief while watching a jerky version of the fire grow through a window, as if seeing it across the Thames.

The Ford Pavilion was at the south end of Nob Hill beyond John and nearly up against Denny Way.  Jean’s “now” is adjusted by a few feet to the east in order to include sculptor Alexander Liberman’s assemblage of industrial cylinders, some 40 feet long and sixty-four inches in diameter.

(Click TWICE to Enlarge)

Look for No. 69 on Boulevard 21. Or find the southeast corner of the Food Circus, aka Center House, and look south towards Broad Street.

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