Beacon of Idealism: Building Democracity

At the very center of the Fair sat the immense Trylon and Persisphere — buildings that not only housed the Fair’s “theme exhibit,” a model of the metropolis of the future, but also embodied the Fair’s overall message, “Building the World of Tomorrow.” For the inaugural 1939 season, the Fair looked promisingly towards the future, and every element, from the physical layout to buttons on employees’ coats, was selected with the theme in mind. Yet, when the first season’s income fell far short of that needed to clear the Fair’s debts, that forward-looking message was reconsidered. The winter that bridged 1939 and 1940 brought not only a changing of the guard at the Fair, but also a new theme, “For Peace and Freedom.”