21 Feb

Seattle World’s Fair 1962 Postcards

Found via BoingBoing: a neat assortment of Seattle World’s Fair 1962 postcards. Of course, the fair was before my time, but many of the things pictured in these cards still exist, or existed for many years. (You could even buy surplus ’62 World’s Fair souvenirs in some of the Food Circus Center House shops until the late ’70s or so.)

This photo of Seattle’s skyline is freakishly sparse. I think I can see my house. No stadiums, no huge skyscrapers… something’s a little odd about the skyline, too. The sun is out but Mount Rainier isn’t there, and there’s a weird gray patch of smog or something behind Beacon Hill.

This name would not be used today.

The Food Circus! I’m not sure when it started being called the Center House. I know that when I was a kid it was pretty universally called the Food Circus. These days, if you hear someone slip and call it the Food Circus, you know they’ve lived in Seattle for a long time. The Fisher 15 cent Scones sign in this photo appears to be right where the Starbucks is these days.

I wonder if the Hawaiian Pavilion sold Dole Whip like they have at the Tiki Room in Disneyland? I have this postcard myself; I think I found it at a Value Village. For Seattleites of my generation, this isn’t the Hawaiian Pavilion — it’s the Fun Forest Video Arcade. I spent many, many hours there as a teen.

I love these Boulevards of the World! (Note that Uwajimaya had a shop there.) When I was growing up, the basement of the Food Circus was the “International Bazaar”, sort of like this. Anyone know if the Bazaar was there during the Fair too, or if it was a sort of carry-over of this concept in a different location?

OK, I haven’t really paid attention to the businesses on Fifth lately, but I know when I worked at The Rocket in the 80s, the hotel in the background of this monorail postcard still had that goofy sign. And is that the current site of Top Pot Donuts beyond it? Part of my heart breaks whenever I see the monorail these days. Sigh.

Along the same lines, I finally discovered the VintageSeattle.org blog, which I should have started reading a lot sooner. It has lots of great old pictures, postcards, and ephemera. Very, very cool.

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