Friday, March 20, 2009

General Foods Arch

The photo below is a picture of an Arch that was erected by the General Foods Co. for the 1964-65 NY Worlds Fair in Flushing.

From what I could gather from the posted comments at the worldsfaircommunity.org forum (hat tip), the arch was one of eleven scattered about the grounds of the Worlds Fair and in essence served as an advertisement for the General Foods Company as well as an information kiosk and rendezvous destination for fair goers. After the fair, General Foods sold off and/or scrapped the kiosks and the good old Worlds Fair enthusiasts at the linked website above were able to track down five of them that still exist in various parts of the country.

One of the archs ended up at the entrance to the Cherry Valley Center, a.k.a. the Pathmark shopping ctr, and remains WH's best specimen of the type of googie architecture that was popularized in the '50 and '60s.

I like to think of it as West Hempstead's own Gateway Arch, beckoning homesteaders' westward migration into the wild wild west (Elmont?) and the hinterland beyond (NYC?) - OK, maybe the comparison's going too far.

I'd love to find out more about this landmark if anyone has more info about it (e.g. when it was put in, who bought it, etc.)

8 comments:

Jon W. said...

Was this not also the Island Gardens arch for the Nets in the late 60's-early 70's?

Anonymous said...

That it was, As for the arch I was told Whitey Carlson had it installed on his property around the time of Island Gardens.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Garden

Anonymous said...

Arnold Whitey Carlson (my uncle)bought the arch as well as other material 'Bourbon Street', etc. at the end of the 64-65 NY Worlds Fair in Flushing NY, if I remember correctly it was supposed to be a replica of the St. Louis arch. it was used as a sign for the Island Garden Arena and later for the shopping center after the arena was torn down. Funny story, my Uncle Whitey asked my father (his brother-in-law) to accompany him to the Worlds Fair during the last days which my father did, but came home very disappointed, he thought he was going there to have a good time with Whitey, instead he said they spent the entire time looking at building materials which Whitey was planning to buy.. :( DPL

Jacob said...

DPL:

That's a funny story. Thanks for sharing and for filling in the missing info. abt the origins of the arch in WH.

BTW - At 500 Greenway East there's one home that stands out from the others at the end of the block. It kind of has that 1960's post-modern, "Brady Bunch home" look to it, and it seems like it was built to overlook the Island Garden. Someone told me that that was actually Whitey Carlson's house but I was never able to verify that. Do you have any info on that?

Anonymous said...

Definately Whiteley Carlson house....actually it was sold years ago....they had a tag sale there...what a beautiful home it WAS.....Built in pool in the house.....I was great to finally get a peek inside......the place turned out to be a pigstie......it was a mess....the pool was filled with junk....did buy a few itenms....walls were broken down....unfinished everywhere.....but used to be a party palace.....the most beautiful most modern house in town.....nuff said

Zack Halladay said...

Funny, there's an arch near-identical to this one at the former Rocky Point amusement park here in RI. The Arch, as we call it, is being preserved with the new state park replacing the long-closed Rhode Island landmark.

Bill Cotter said...

The Rocky Point arch was also one from the World's Fair. There's another one at a water park in Old Forge, NY and two at a quarry, I think in Ohio. No leads on the others so far.

Anonymous said...

"Whitey" Arnold Carlson lived in 4 different homes in the Franklin Square, West Hempstead, NY area, first at 16 Carl Ave, Fr.Sq. in the late 40's, then above his used car dealership 'Whitey's Big Lot' at 636 Hempstead Tpke, Fr.Sq., then at 549 Greenway East, W.Hempstead in the 50's and then move to the end of the block at 500 Greenway East, W.Hempstead in the 60's next to the Island Garden Arena which he owned before finally selling out everything and moving to Los Angeles, CA and opening The Brewery and artists colony... Whitey and my mother (his sister) grew up in the Franklin Sq., West Hempstead, Elmont and Hempstead area.. He got the nickname Whitey because his hair was so blonde when he was a kid... DPL