Century 21 Exposition

1962 Seattle
Century 21 Exposition logo1.png
Century 21 Exposition logo
BIE-classUniversal exposition
CategorySecond category General Exposition
NameCentury 21 Exposition
MottoLiving in the Space Age
BuildingSpace Needle
Area74 acres (30 hectares)
Invention(s)Bubbleator, Friendship 7
Organized byEdward E. Carlson
CountryUnited States
VenueBroad Street
Coordinates47°37′17″N 122°21′03″W / 47°37′17″N 122°21′03″W / 47.62139; -122.35083
OpeningApril 21, 1962
ClosureOctober 21, 1962
Universal expositions
PreviousExpo 58 in Brussels
NextExpo 67 in Montreal

The Century 21 Exposition (also known as the Seattle World's Fair) was a world's fair held April 21, 1962, to October 21, 1962, in Seattle, Washington.[1][2]Nearly 10 million people attended the fair.[3] Unlike some other world's fairs of its era, Century 21 made a profit.[3]

As planned, the exposition left behind a fairground and numerous public buildings and public works; some credit it with revitalizing Seattle's economic and cultural life (see History of Seattle since 1940).[4] The fair saw the construction of the Space Needle and Alweg monorail, as well as several sports venues (Washington State Coliseum, now KeyArena) and performing arts buildings (the Playhouse, now the Cornish Playhouse), most of which have since been replaced or heavily remodeled.

Aerial photograph of the Space Needle in 2003 decorated for Memorial Day

The site, slightly expanded since the fair, is now called Seattle Center; the United States Science Pavilion is now the Pacific Science Center. Another notable Seattle Center building, the Museum of Pop Culture (earlier called EMP Museum), was built nearly 40 years later and designed to fit in with the fairground atmosphere.

Planning and funding

Seattle mayor Allan Pomeroy is credited with bringing the World's Fair to the city. He recruited community and business leaders, as well as running a petition campaign, in the early 1950s to convince the city council to approve an $8.5 million bond issue to build the opera house and sports center needed to attract the fair. Eventually the council approved a $7.5 million bond issue with the state of Washington matching that amount.[5]