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I've been collecting info on the Hawaii Pavillion at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair for some time now. I think I'm drawn to this building (and the Exposition in general) because it juxtaposed Primitive with the Modern - Tikis with the Space Needle. Lately I've made a few new acquisitions, (thanks a million to filslash for pointing me towards one of them), so I thought I'd put them together into an archeological post.

Back in 1959, just after the land was bought for the 1962 Expostion, but before ground had been broken yet, Century 21, (the sponsor), put out a ring-bound booklet which was given to prospective exhibitors. It stated:

"Never before, perhaps, has world civilization been so absorbed in its own future. The rockets that man sends overhead are marking paths which he will follow. He seeks to free himself from the the bounds of Earth. it is the aim of the Century 21 Exposition to portray this new era - to take its millions of visitors from the cultures of today's world into the multihued projection of what lies ahead - to preview the ways man will work and play and live in the year two thousand."

This booklet was filled with amazing artist's-renderings of what the fair might look like. Most bore very vague resemblance to the fantastic architecture that was actually created. Here is an early artist's conception of the Hawaiian Pavillion:


(Larger image here)

Already there were hints of the "12-sided Polynesian longhouse" structure that would later be built. The bizarre tiki in the foreground was probably based on an old two-mouthed tiki in the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. This style of tiki was discussed in another topic here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=2303&forum=1

A later Artist's rendering that appeared in the official program was still probably drawn before the building was actually built. It's close to the final structure but differs in several key aspects; most notably the African-like shields on the end of the roof beams:

(Larger image here)

:down: I love the space needle in the background of this image:

Here's a postcard photo of the final structure :down:

(Larger image here)

"When the idea was kindled for a Hawaii Pavillion at the Seattle World's Fair, the civic-minded business men back of the project agreed that all efforts must be pointed toward a single goal: To create, in Seattle, an exhibit representative of Island lore and culture, one that would be entirely appropriate of the traditions and hopes of the nation's newest state, and one which, above all, would capture the true spirit of Aloha."

Here is a photo of the building being constructed :down:

(Larger image here)

"To house this exhibit, a large peak-roofed structure of contemporary Polynesian architecture was erected. The traditional Polynesian "longhouse" was reshaped into a 12-sided "circle" encompassing a 600-seat theater in which Polynesia's golden-skinned entertainers could perform for World Fair audiences."

The Palm Trees planted at the Pavillion were actually shipped all the way from Hawaii :down:

(Larger image here)

The Tikis

In the postcard image, a tiki is easily visible in front of the structure :down:

I always thought this tiki looked like it was carved from fern wood. Fern-wood tikis seem to all be carved in a fairly traditional style. Here are some fern wood tikis that have appeared on TC as examples:

But what about the two giant tikis at the left-hand edge of the postcard :down:

Based on the woman standing in front of them, these tikis must be at least ten and fifteen feet tall. Did they actually carve fern-tree tikis this tall?

Evidently they did. :down:

(Larger image here)

The Polynesian Review

*"Theater lights dim, a haunting blast sounds on the ancient conch shell and the Polynesian Revue transforms the World's Fair play-goeer into a musical wonderalnd of the Islands. During this armchair journey to Polynesia you savor authentic Island lore and culture, both old and new, in a spectacular revue which ranges fro mthe beautiful and romantic hula of Hawaii into the exciting, pulsating drum dances of Tahiti and the savage, tribal and ritual dances of Samoa and Tahiti.

Every performer in the Polynesian Playhouse is Island born and reared, and was selected personally by Entertainment Director Sonny Nicholas in a mammoth talent hunt which ranged from Hawaii to the far islands of Tahiti and Samoa.

Starring in the hula solo is Kauionalani Dowsett. A familiar name to Islanders and visitors alike, she has thrilled audiences at leading Hawaiian resorts and hotels with her enchanting presentations. The Tahitian princess is lovely Lona Tika, whose precision movements delivered at a machine-gun tempo are an unforgettable highlight of the Polynesian Review. Nine other dancing girls are in the show, along with such spectacular performers as Faauila Malala, the Samoan Sword Dancer and fire Walker. The unique harmony of the Hilo Hawaiians is the musical feature of the show - a most memorable "visit" to the Islands."*

Here are some photos of the Review :down:

Other Attractions

The Hawaii Pavillion also housed a Clothing Store where you could buy Muu-muus and Aloha Shirts, Dole's "Food's of Hawaii" concession stand, and a Flowers & Perfume shop.

There was a record store where you could purchase Hawaiian lps, and a Photography shop, where you could buy color films of the eruption of Mauna Loa and have your photograph taken against a backdrop portaying the Hawaii Pavillion with the Space Needle in the background. I would love to find one of these souvenir photos, but alas, they still elude me.

Here's a photo of the dedication of the Confection Shoppe called "Hawaiian Treats" where you could buy macadamia nuts, Hawaiian toffees and candy leis. (note the tiki tiled into the wall):

Finally a great photo of the Fair General Manager getting a lei and a kiss from the Cherry Blossom Princess with the Pavillion in the background:

(Larger image here)

Hope you enjoyed this small tour. Post other images if you've got 'em. I'd love to see what else is out there.

Thanks,

Sabu


[ Edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2006-04-21 22:41 ]

[ Edited by: filslash 2008-09-16 14:03 ]

T

Aloha Sabu,
I was 17 when we visited the Seattle worlds Fair. I guess I was mesmerized by the Space Needle and the Monorail, because I don't remember the Hawaiian pavillion at all. Mahalo for the opportunity to see it again. By the way the huge musical water fountain at the old fairgrounds has been restored to working order and the locals kids love running in and out of the dancing waters.
Tikiboy

Nice research work and thanks, Sabu.

V

sabu is my idol. I love the way you do your threads, and your archives are amazing.
thanks for all that

P

Wow !! What an awesome post, Sabu ! I love all three artist's renderings ( esp. that 2nd one) and the in-progress photos. Thanks so much for sharing all these great images and info.

Very nice posting Sabu, thank you. Your attention to detail is astounding! Post's like these are what make TC stand out from the crowd. You are truly an asset to TC and are a true Tiki Archeologist!! Keep up the good work!!!

I hope to see you at the Tiki Oasis this year with a few more of your scrapbooks. That was so much fun last year.

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff

T

Oh man! What an awesome post Sabu!

Just a stellar example of Urban Archeology, with stunning images from Sabu's collection! Thanks so much for this...

J

Being a past Seattlite, I really appreciate this post. I didn't know all that. How cool! Maybe the Seattle Folklife Festival might be interested in exhibiting your collection.

[ Edited by: J.S.G. 2006-04-22 12:53 ]

Mahalo Sabu! I love this history stuff!

D

being a new Seattle-ite..i really appreciate this thread too! lots of love and work went into your research!

let me know if there's a 'holy grail' of 1962 Seattle World's Fair... i've been going to a few estate sales a week, and i'd be happy to look through paper stuff, if i knew what to look for!

TB

Thank you for the fascinating and informative post!!!! I was mesmerized by the narrative that accompanied the images and am very appreciative of all the time you spent to share this treasure with us.
I attended the New York Worlds Fair and remember tiny bits of Hawaii's exhibit...mostly the fresh pineapple slices on a stick.......but I just loved your collection of Seattle. Thank you!!!

Excellent job Sabu! We need to see more of these from that massive collection of yours.

Zulu

As a kid growing up in Seattle, I saw that pavilion many times. Years after the World's Fair, I would spend a lot of time at the former fair grounds renamed the Seattle Center. In the 70's, the pavilion roof was moved to the aumusement park section of the grounds and housed an old fashioned penny arcade.
Then when video games took off, the structure and the old games disappeared. I kept hoping that the structure would be reborn somewhere else at the Center, but I never saw it again.

Thanks for a great post.
Manakoora

Hey Sabu, amazing post and very informative. I have been wondering (for many years now) who carved that particular style of Tikis in Hawaii, now we all know… Kalani, I’ve got a few pieces of reference with his carving, it is so distinctive, yet I never had a name or anything to put to his work.

Keep up the great work,

Bosko

Hey, d'ya think that this is maybe THE Kalani, "the guy from Hawaii", responsible for the decor of the imitation Mai Kai "South Pacific" restaurant and village in Hallandale, Florida, also married to lovely Iilani, dancer at the same establishment?

There was an Elvis Presley movie filmed at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, called It Happened At The World's Fair.

Has anyone seen it? There might be some scenes from the Hawaiian Pavilian.

wow, very cool photos Sabu.
I posted waaay back that I have a Bumatay styled mug from there with raised lettering & a space needle graphic on the back. It is kinda crude & looks a bit crafty, but extremely cool. I don't have access to my pics now since I'm still out of town, but I will post a pic when I get back if you're interested.
I know Dr Smiley also has one in orange. (mine is yellow)
I have a thick little visitors booklet also. It's for the entire fair, not the Hawaiian Pavillion specifically, but it is mentioned. You are welcome to have it if you want it.

“Hey, d'ya think that this is maybe THE Kalani, "the guy from Hawaii", responsible for the decor of the imitation Mai Kai "South Pacific" restaurant and village in Hallandale, Florida, also married to lovely Iilani, dancer at the same establishment?”

Hey Sven my suspicion is that’s not the same “guy from Hawaii”, whatever carving examples I’ve seen from the South Pacific have been totally different in style. But you never know the Tiki world was a small one back then, there could have been a whole Kalani movement we were unaware of, all it takes is one good postcard to change everything!

Bosko

On 2006-04-27 09:35, ookoo lady wrote:
There was an Elvis Presley movie filmed at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, called It Happened At The World's Fair.

Has anyone seen it? There might be some scenes from the Hawaiian Pavilian.

No Hawaiian Pavillon, but cool space age architecture...and the best scenes are in a trailer park that was all studio built, with the cleanest gleaming chrome trailer homes I ever saw, all perfect artifice.

B

Awesome, man. Stellar research.

Great post! Thanks so much.

Thank you, Manakoora! When I saw the picture of the building, my first instinct was that it became the arcade in the rides area (today, that area is near EMP, and the building is totally gone). So fantastic.

When I was a kid, when we'd go play at my grandparents, there was a ton of World's Fair stuff in the toybox of stuff leftover from when my mom & her siblings were kids. Sadly, it's all long gone, now.

Bigbadtikidaddy, I would love to see this mug you're talking about! Between mug & Seattle World's Fair collectors, I would think it would go for a pretty penny.

Thanks for such a fabulous post, Sabu!

Humu- I will happily post the pics when I get back home. :wink:

I just returned from my weekly trip to goodwill and found a very nice aloha shirt which I'm pretty sure was from the worlds fair. It's got the space needle in the background and it's in pretty good shape with bright colors. I'll post some pictures as soon as I can.

I took a closer look at the shirt and compared it to the drawings posted in this thread and the details are a match. Oddly enough there is a tower on the shirt that is not present in any of the posted materials. This could have been something that was initially planned and then canceled after the art had been sent off to the shirt makers. By the final decision was made it was too late to change the shirt. I think I'll be able to get pictures up tonight.

I'll also note that the colors are not those that I typically wear but I'll make an exception for this shirt and will wear it on my next trip to Seattle (I'll be styling at the Bellevue TV).

[ Edited by: sporkboyofjustice 2006-04-30 13:45 ]

OK, here are the pictures, a little late but here they are. You can see the tower that I was talking about and the space needle is as clear as can be. I did try this on and it is very tight on me which is a shame but it's still a really cool shirt. Also added a closeup of the label, Waikiki-Wear by Mildred's. There is another line of text that isn't clear. May be of Hawaii?? Does anyone know of this shirt maker?



[ Edited by: sporkboyofjustice 2006-05-03 08:49 ]

[ Edited by: sporkboyofjustice 2006-05-03 12:02 ]

I definitely think you've got something there, Sporkboy.

The Space Needle looks like Seattle's all right and the Hawaiian building has those same 6-pointed shields that are on the artist's rendering from the program. I wonder if this shirt was sold in Waikiki or Seattle? Great mix of Seattle skyline with Waikiki syline. Thanks for posting that!

Tikiboy & Manakoora - Thanks so much for giving us your first-hand recollections from the Seattle World's Fair. I was hoping someone who was there would chime in. I really appreciate the history of what became of the building in the years after the Exposition.

Dogbytes - The only "holy grail" I can think of would be some actual polaroids that tourists took of the Pavilion. Especially one of those souvenir photos that was taken at the camera shop with the Pavilion and the Space Needle as background. I bet those are cool.

Bosko - I'm glad I could help with the putting a name to that famous tree-fern carver. It sounds like you have lots of historical knowledge of carvers. Kalani looks pretty young in that photo. Any chance that he might still be alive? He'd be a great one to interview.

Bigbadtikidaddy - I'd love to see a pic of that mug once you find it. I thought there was possibly only a commemorative tumbler that came as part of a set. I had no idea there was an actual tiki mug.

Thanks everybody for all the positive input on this thread.

Sabu

M

On 2006-05-03 08:42, sporkboyofjustice wrote:
OK, here are the pictures, a little late but here they are. You can see the tower that I was talking about and the space needle is as clear as can be. I did try this on and it is very tight on me which is a shame but it's still a really cool shirt. Also added a closeup of the label, Waikiki-Wear by Mildred's. There is another line of text that isn't clear. May be of Hawaii?? Does anyone know of this shirt maker?

[

That shirt is zazz!!!

Hey Sporkboyofjustice, I like that shirt!

Here's an observation of mine regarding the Space Needle in the picture: the little deck above the third dancer looks like the "Skyline Level", a banquet facility added to the Space Needle structure in 1982, 20 years after the World's Fair. That might help you date your shirt a little closer. I have no idea what that other tower is. Have you discovered any other details about it?
It's a cool shirt.

Manakoora (Raised in Seattle)

L

Oddly enough there is a tower on the shirt that is not present in any of the posted materials. This could have been something that was initially planned and then canceled after the art had been sent off to the shirt makers. By the final decision was made it was too late to change the shirt.

sorry,
Interesting story.
But nope.
The other structure is the Aloha tower. Situated makai of Chinatown, Oahu. Once the tallest building in Hawaii, back in da boat days. The other icons on the shirt are also indigenous to Hawaii and not things planned for the fair nor related to Seattle.

L

also, that shirt is most emphatically not from the 1980's.

Another great thread to re-vitalize. I recently acquired this "1962 Settle Worlds Fair Mug" A few to be found in Ooga-Mooga and a few stories to go with it. Bumatay looking indeed and one story suggests it was a booth in which you bought the mug then got to paint it. I don't think so as they look to have a more professional glaze to it. Also guessed to be a hobbyist mug? I don't think so as well I think they made enough to have hired a small co. to make them up, but... I have no idea. What do you think? What a great time 1962 for Tiki & Seattle...

[ Edited by: Hiphipahula 2008-04-28 17:19 ]

X

I was talking about the Pavilion to a friend of my today so on a hunch I searched the web and found this.

WOW.....thank you sooooo much for bringing back these memories. I watched as they built this building. My father managed the Hawaii Pavilion during the fair. My dad may still have the small tiki in the basement of his house. After the fair was over we put it in our yard. I’m going to try to find out what happened to it.

Geee….now I’m going to have to call my dad to bring back all his memories. He would hide us kids in the car from our mom in order to sneak us in when he went to work the fair before the grounds opened. We had a blast with all the dancers. It was a fun time.

He’s 89 now and I’m sure he will get a kick out of knowing about this site. Over the years he has kept in contact with the dancers.

Man, what a bummer that all of Sabu's (and others) great photos are gone from this thread. I thought I would refresh things a little.

First off the Dole stand at the Hawaiian Pavilion. Seen many times, a classic.

I found this photo on Flickr of the Dole stand.

Close up of the two big fernwood Tikis out front and the smaller ones flanking the entrance.

Found another photo on Flickr stating that this is one of THE Tikis from the Dole stand.

Here are some other postcards from the information booth sponsored by the Seattle 1st Bank. No Tiki but some great lines.

Another postcard showing the shopping area at the Boulevards of the World.

Close up of the Tiki shop.

Hopefully Sabu can add this to his list of threads to update some day.

DC

I've been adding images to the New York World's Fair thread so I thought I would move over here and do the same for the Seattle World's Fair. I found a great set of old photos online of the Hawaiian Pavilion.

Two photos of the building construction.

The completed Hawaii Pavilion.


A nighttime shot with the Tiki torches lit.

The Polynesian Playhouse

As advertised in this brochure.

Space Needle shots.

I lightened this one up so you could see the two tree fern Tikis better.

A great photo of the two fern Tikis -finally get some good details on these big guys.

A Polynesian face carving.

And the Hawaiian entertainment.

Some pretty cool stuff.

DC

T

Love those fern tikis...may have to add them to a future painting.

Thanks for posting these great pix, Dustycajun.

Thanks Tobor64. Here are a few more photos of those cool fern Tikis.

DC

T

I found this picture on the MOHAI website. It's from the Industry section in the Philippine Pavilion. If anyone finds this entryway I can use a new entry for my house.

Reminds me of Les Cabaret L'Enfer that was in Paris.

aloha Tikicoma

Wow, that has to be the biggest fork & spoon set ever! Looks to be at least 10' tall!

M

Wow, this is a great thread for seattle. My parents took me there, I was about 4 yrs old. I remember some of it. I remember the buildings. Too bad they were all torn down. Progress. I have two different style space needle decanters. One I believe is actually a cocktail style mug with lid in shape of the space needle with a place for a straw.

Good find, Tikicoma! I had seen this before, but in a much smaller format. That must have given a real push for import Tikis...though much less if this would have been displayed in Southern California.

With that size fork you could FEED tourists to the giant Tiki mouth! :)

T

Exotica at the Fair,

Club 21 was open to members at subscription cost of 250 bucks for six months.
Seems this may have been a sponsors organization also providing a permanent gate pass and a guide book.

from the U of W digital collections.

aloha, tikicoma

WOW!! Awesome picture!! :)

Thanks tikicoma!!

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff

A photo from the Polynesian Playhouse program advertising Lono Tika.

And a news wire photo I saw on ebay with a live action shot of the entertainers at the Polynesian Playhouse.


DC

Does anyone know the recipe for the "Bubbleator" cocktail that was served at the Seattle Word's Fair?

I am doing a 60s sci-fi theme night and have the spacy soundtrack that they used for the futuristic parts of the fair. Now if I could just serve that cocktail too....

Boy, that recipe is hard to find. Here is a menu in Seattle that offers the Bubbleator and lists the ingredients (not the amounts though).
http://www.mayflowerpark.com/olivers-cocktails-snacks.asp

The Bubbleator 9.00
Recognizing Seattle’s great open glass elevator for the 1962 World’s Fair. Ketel One Citron, vanilla vodka with muddled orange & Oliver’s fresh made sour.

An early post on this thread was a Seattle Worlds Fair Hawaiian shirt, but those images all disappeared. One came up on ebay over a year ago but I guess I didn't save those pictures (and I didn't win it either) but I did find a shot of part of the fabric, and here it is...

aloha, tikicoma

(oop's)

[ Edited by: tikicoma 2013-06-11 00:21 ]

I never ever would have expected to see both the Space Needle and Waikiki in the same image. Very cool illustration style, thanks for sharing the pic.

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