6. There was a Futuristic Exhibit Inside the Perisphere

Photograph Courtesy of NYC Parks Archives

The Perisphere was not only a striking feat of architecture from the outside, inside there was an equally stunning exhibit. Democracity was a giant diorama of the ideal city of the future, designed by industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss. The exhibit was housed in a space more than two-times the size of Radio City Music Hall. After paying twenty-five cents, visitors viewed the exhibit from two rotating balconies, dubbed “magic carpets,” that encircled the model. Every six-minutes a recorded narration would extoll the wonders of this utopian city and the lights would dim to mimic nighttime as phosphorescent paint made the buildings look like they were lighting up from the inside. The narration was accompanied by the theme song “Rising Tide” by William Grant Still.