Expo 74 spokane s world s fair by ms weldin
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EXPO ‘74: Spokane’s World’s Fair by Ms. Weldin. Expo 74 Logo (UW Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest ) . GUIDING QUESTION: What Effects did Expo 74 have on Spokane?.

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Expo 74 spokane s world s fair by ms weldin

EXPO ‘74: Spokane’s World’s Fairby Ms. Weldin

Expo 74 Logo (UW Center for the Study

of the Pacific Northwest)

GUIDING QUESTION: What Effects did Expo 74 have on Spokane?

Introduction: On May 4, 1974, Spokane, Washington became the smallest city to ever host a World’s Fair. Expo 74, Spokane’s World Fair, opened along the Spokane River where Riverfront Park is now located. The World’s Fair had an environmental theme, “Celebrating Tomorrow’s Fresh New Environment” (Bowers). Considering what the location looked like before the fair opened and what it looked liked after, the theme fit. The fair was open for 6 months and it dramatically effected the geography, economy and culture of Spokane, Washington

The world s fair site before construction began in 1971
The World’s Fair Site Before Construction Began in 1971

In this pre-expo picture you see the site as it was, an industrial area with rundown warehouses, The Great Northern Railroad Depot and rail yard, and a polluted Spokane River.

(Washington State Digital Archives , Spokane City Planning Department Expo 74 Photographic collection. )

Spokane s world s fair site after construction
Spokane’s World’s Fair Site After Construction

(A Virtual Visit to Expo 74, http://www.expo74.com/links.html)

This picture shows the site when the World’s Fair opened in May of 1974. The Spokane River was cleaned up, and the Great Northern Depot and rail yards on Havermale Island were demolished. Spokane kept the 1902 Great Northern Depot clock tower and it remains a part of Riverfront park today.

Spokane is exposed to other cultures
Spokane is Exposed to Other Cultures

Soviet Union Pavilion

Philippines Pavilion

Republic of Korea Pavilion

(The pictures on this site come from A Virtual Visit to Expo 74, Mike Fuller, http://www.expo74.com/index.html)

Several countries had pavilions at the fair which exposed the people of Spokane to different cultures from around the world. There were also millions of a visitors—an estimated 5.6 million-- from across the United States and beyond.

A revitalized downtown improves spokane s economy
A Revitalized Downtown Improves Spokane’s Economy

  • Expo 74 brought millions of dollars into Spokane and the surrounding area. The fair left Spokane with an opera house (now the INB Center) and a beautiful park that attracts thousands of visitors to Spokane.

  • Conclusion: In the years since Expo 74, community events like Blooms-day (1977) and Hoopfest were organized taking advantage of Spokane’s beautiful downtown located along the Spokane River with beautiful Riverfront Park adjacent. Visitors to these events spend millions of dollars every year in Spokane hotels, restaurants, etc.

City data.com, 2003-2007