Civic Center Advisory and World's Fair Commissions Records, 1957-1962

Overview of the Collection

Washington (State). World Fair Commission (1955-1962); Seattle (Wash.). Civic Center Advisory Committee
Civic Center Advisory and World's Fair Commissions Records
1957-1962 (inclusive)
0.6 cubic feet
Collection Number
Records of two commissions engaged in planning for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The State of Washington World's Fair Commission first met August 19, 1955; initially the Commission studied the feasibility of a fair. By December 1955, the Commission decided that with the proper support a fair was possible. The World's Fair Commission was enlarged in 1957 to fifteen members and included City Council member J. D. Braman. The fair was named the Century 21 Exposition in 1957. Seattle voters approved a $7,500,000 bond issue in 1956 for buildings and acquisition of land. The Seattle Civic Center Advisory Commission was created in December 1956 by Seattle City Council. In 1957, the State matched the 1956 bond issue approved by Seattle voters, approving an additional $7,500,000 for the fair.

World's Fair Corporation of Washington incorporated on October 9, 1957, created with members of the World's Fair Commission established in 1955 by the Washington State Legislature. Its purpose was to plan and operate the Exposition; its name was amended to Century 21 Exposition, Inc. on November 20, 1958. The Articles of Incorporation stated that the purpose of Century 21 Exposition, Inc was "to plan and present a World Fair at Seattle which will provide a spectacular vehicle for dramatizing, on behalf of and in cooperation with all such nations, their common hopes and aspirations, their historic, cultural and scientific achievements, the readiness for world leadership and their earnest desire to live in peace." A subcommittee of the World's Fair Commission was formed to pick a site; by 1956 the site of the Civic Auditorium was chosen. A Joint Executive Committee was formed representing Civic Center Advisory Commission and the World Fair Commission to expedite the development of preliminary plans for approval by the respective Commissions, and also address land acquisition.

The Seattle Civic Center Advisory Commission was responsible for choosing architects, building public support, exhibits, and overall design. The Washington State World Fair Commission was responsible for financial issues and land acquisition. There were advisory boards for cultural arts and design standards with committees for artists and sculptors, engineers, landscape and performing arts. Federal funds, as well as generous contributions from Seattle business people, contributed to the success of the fair. The Fair opened on April 21, 1962 and closed on October 21. The City took control of the fairgrounds in 1965 when the Seattle Center Department was created to administer, manage and control the facilities on the site of the 1962 World's Fair. The Center's purpose is to be an active civic center providing facilities and programs supporting the arts, education, s ports and entertainment. In addition, there are four facilities on the grounds that are not owned by the City: the Space Needle, Memorial Stadium, the Pacific Science Center, and the Experience Music Project.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Records of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair commissions including: Century 21 Executive Committee, World's Fair Commission, other committee and board minutes, authorizing legislation, promotional materials and reports. Issues addressed included: land acquisition, building design and landscaping, transportation, exhibits, and financial issues. The records date primarily from 1957 to 1959.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Civic Center Advisory and World's Fair Commissions Records, Record Series 9315-01 Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Enabling Legislation 1958-1959
1 2 World Fair Corporation of Washington Articles of Incorporation 1957-1958
1 3 World Fair Corporation Executive Committee 1958
1 4 World Fair Corporation Board of Trustees 1958-1959
1 5 Century 21 Exposition, Inc. By-Laws 1958
1 6 Century 21 Exposition Executive Committee 1958-1959
1 7 Seattle Consular Corps and Mayor Gordon Clinton 1958
1 8 Executive Committees Civic Center Advisory Commission and World Fair Commission 1957
1 9 Executive Committees Joint Meeting Civic Center Advisory Commission and World Fair Commission 1958
1 10 Civic Center Advisory Commission Minutes 1957
1 11 Civic Center Advisory Commission Minutes 1958
1 12 Civic Center Advisory Commission 1959
1 13 Cultural Arts Advisory Board 1958
1 14 Worlds Fair Commission- Civic Center Advisory Commission- Design Standards Advisory Board Joint Meeting 1957
1 15 Design Standards Advisory Board Minutes Jul-Aug 1957
1 16 Design Standards Advisory Board Sep-Dec 1957
1 17 Design Standards Advisory Board 1958
1 18 Design Standards Advisory Board. Artists and Sculptors Committee 1958
1 19 Design Standards Advisory Board. Engineers Committee 1958
1 20 Design Standards Advisory Board. Landscape Committee 1958
1 21 Design Standards Advisory Board. Performing Arts Committee 1958
1 22 Parking and Transportation Committee 1958
1 23 Public Relations Advisory Committee 1957-1958
1 24 Utilities, Service, Safety and Security Committee 1958
1 25 Operating Board of Executive Committee 1958-1959
1 26 Housing Committee 1959
1 27 National Science Planning Board 1958
1 28 Trade Fair Group 1958-1959
1 29 World's Fair Commission 1957
1 30 World's Fair Commission 1958
1 31 Expo '61 News Digest (Internal Newsletter) 1958
1 32 News Releases 1958
1 33 News Releases 1959
1 34 News Releases 1960
1 35 News Releases 1961
1 36 News Releases 1962
2 1 Amusement Survey by Walter A. Van Camp 1958
2 2 Program Outline for Seattle Concert - Convention Hall 1958
2 3 Facilities and Attendance Charts 1957-1958
2 4 Questionnaire 1958
2 5 Exhibit Proposals 1958
2 6 Financial Statements 1957-1958
2 7 Estimated Monorail Traffic by Marmion D. Mills 1958
2 8 Committee Rosters 1957-1958
2 9 Ceremony Invitations. Space Needle and Monorail 1961
2 10 Policy Statements 1957-1959
2 11 World Fair Corporation Fact Sheet 1958
2 12 Publications 1957-1959
2 13 Development Plan 1958
2 14 Civic Ice Arena Improvements 1958-1959
2 15 Reports to the Legislature 1957-1958
2 16 Civic Center Development Bonds. Proposition 1 1956
2 17 General Schedule 1959
2 18 Correspondence 1957-1958

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.)

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)