1964 World Fair in New York City
The New York World’s Fair of 1964 was home to the lively and stunning Fountain of the Planets. The combination of Gershwin’s music and the color and lights seemed to make the fountain come alive! Called the Pool of Industry at the fair, guests would crowd around in the evening when the synchronized water, music, lights and fireworks created an amazing display. “Rhapsody in Blue” was a favorite of the crowds. This fountain, full of color and light, was a tribute to Broadway. The waters of the fountain would change shape and intensity as they moved to Gershwin’s music. Flood lights under the water played right along with the orchestra, creating intense beams of color. Fireworks launched from the geysers as well. Within moments of the show beginning, the audience would be hooked, and they would suddenly quiet, as if entranced by the fountain.
It was the 1960’s and the aura of the fountain blended right in. The fountain symbolized the future, and how bright it was, even in the midst of difficult times. At this time, anything was possible. What was once science fiction was being turned into fact by the ambitious space program. So it became easier to believe that one day there would be underwater hotels, just like the one presented by General Motors in their Futurama Display. The Kennedy era had set forth a feeling of change in the nation, and the fountain was pulsating with as much hope and energy as the American people. A popular song of the time promised "a great big beautiful tomorrow", and this was the feeling of the time, especially for the young that stared in large crowds at the power and majesty of the fountains.
The brackish water of the fountain was even not unpleasant to smell. It seemed, instead, to charge the atmosphere, similar to that of towering waves breaking at the ocean, glowing with phosphorous. This Fountain certainly is remembered well by all who had the opportunity to see it.