LEGO Ideas

New York World's Fair Astro-View Observation Towers

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Presenting the Astro-View towers, from the 1964-65 New York World's Fair complex, one of only a few buildings still standing on the original site. In this, the fiftieth anniversary of the fair, these, and other buildings which formed part of the New York State Pavilion, were declared "National Treasures" by the National Trust fro Historic Preservation, meaning hopefully these iconic and futuristic structures will remain for many years to come.

The three towers originally served as cafeterias and observation platforms, with the tallest, at over eighty meters, being the highest point in the fair, accessible by "sky streak" elevators.

If don't know these as an architectural site, they still might seem familiar, being brought to life on screen in Men in Black, and forming part of a Federation starbase in one of the most iconic matte paintings seen in Star Trek: The Original Series.

In this model I have tried to capture the overall form of the towers, and included one of the elevators, which can be clipped along the railings at any point. I have also included a row of luminaires, the distinctive street lights that could be seen throughout the fair. These came in a variety of configurations, each having different arrangement of coloured cube lights.

I was inspired to make this build thanks to conversations with Star Trek production artist Doug Drexler, who is a devotee of the New York World's Fair (as you can see from his huge gallery of World's Fair images on Facebook). If you're curious about how else the World's Fair has influenced Star Trek, you might be interested in the article Doug and I put together on my Star Trek website.

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