Modern Footprints: Sustainable Adaptation and Collective Memory

Land area covered by HemisFair 1968

Land area covered by HemisFair 1968, San Antonio Fair, Inc. Records, MS 31, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections image / provided

Department of City and Regional Planning, Historic Preservation Planning

Students in CRP 5851 Special Topics in Urban Design: Sustainable Adaptation of Large Modern Footprints, conducted research that examines the state of four World's Fair Sites in North America. These sites left large footprints that have been repurposed and adapted in various ways. The goal of this workshop was to examine the state of sustainability, planning, and historic preservation efforts at the four sites:

Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York
Site of the 1939–49 and 1964–65 World's Fairs

HemisFair Park in San Antonio, Texas
Site of HemisFair 1968

Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Québec (Canada)
Site of Expo 1967

Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington
Site of the Century 21 Expo (1962 World's Fair)

The exhibition presents highlights from this investigation, including site visit photos, uncovered archival materials, maps, and proposed design interventions. It also includes the poster Spirits of Visions Past, which students will present at the American Planning Association conference in April.

Exhibition organizers and workshop participants:

  • Assistant Professor Jennifer Minner, CRP
  • Brian Byrd (M.R.P. '15) 
  • Michael Catsos (M.R.P. '15)
  • Hector Chang (B.S. UR.S '14)
  • Rashmi Gajare (M.R.P. '15)
  • Gabriel Halili (M.R.P. '15)
  • Irene Hung (M.R.P. '15)
  • Daniel McKenna-Foster (M.R.P. '15)
  • Christine Ma (M.R.P. '15)
  • Robert Rivera (M.R.P. '15)
  • Isaac Robb (M.R.P. '15)
  • Rachel Shindman (M.R.P. '15)
  • Taru (M.R.P. '15) 

The exhibition was made possible with the help and participation of Elizabeth Muller, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University; Robert Balder, Executive Director of AAP NYC; the HemisFair Park Redevelopment Corporation; the New York Park Department; among many others.

The workshop was funded with a grant from the Center for Engaged Learning and Research. The exhibition received additional support from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and the CRP Exhibitions Committee.