The 1964 World’s Fair was the second such fair not to be approved of by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), the organisation in charge of such fairs. (The first was the previous New York World’s Fair, held in 1939.) There were a number of reasons for this, but the most prominent was the decision of the fair’s organising committee to charge rent to exhibitors.
Nonetheless, the Fair went ahead. Robert Moses, the city planner of New York City, was the main force behind it, and he recruited the architect Victor Gruen to design the site and the buildings (thus ensuring that the Gruen transfer would effect Fair-goers as well as mall-shoppers). Many of the world’s more prominent nations – members of the BIE – did not attend the Fair, but other nations from the developing world more than made up for them. By the time the World’s Fair closed its doors eighteen months later, 51 million visitors had visited.
Ana Ng — They Might Be Giants