Friday, January 28, 2011

Ford Rotunda

Ford Rotunda - Linen

Published by Metrocraft (~1940s)

The Ford Rotunda was unveiled at the 1934 Chicago World's Fair. Later that year, the company announced it would be dismantled and shipped to the company's Dearborn, Michigan headquarters, where it would be reconstructed across from the Ford Administration Building.

Ford Online describes the reassembled Rotunda:
After more than a year of construction, the new Rotunda was opened on May 14, 1936, with Fred Waring's big band playing for the more than 22,000 visitors.  Ford expected 100,000 visitors during the remainder of 1936, but in fact, attendance averaged nearly 1,000,000 per year until it was closed to the public in early 1942.  Movie stars, celebrities, business leaders, heads of state, and millions of ordinary people came to learn about and to celebrate the Ford Motor Company.
During World War II, the Rotunda served as office space and a school for the Army Air Corps, with barracks set up across Rotunda Drive.  The theater was used as a movie hall to entertain the soldiers. Following the war, the Rotunda was used for Dealer presentations, press events and other business meetings. 
In 1953, the Rotunda underwent a major renovation in anticipation of re-opening to the public.  New displays were installed, and facilities were improved to better handle large crowds. More than 20,000 people braved stormy weather to watch as the Rotunda, decorated like a huge birthday cake, re-opened to the public on the evening of June 16, 1953 – as the culmination of the Company's 50th Anniversary celebration.
On November 1962, as crews were designing and building the annual Christmas displays, a fire ignited on the roof, where the building was undergoing repairs. Firefighters were unable to halt the blaze, and the Rotunda was destroyed.

Thanks to Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday, and hugs to her cat, Bootz, who is under the weather.


Joy said...

I like the colouring of the first card. Unusual building, what a sad end.

Postcardy said...

That building looks like a complete circle from that viewpoint but it actually isn't a complete circle.

Terry said...

Howdy Aimee
Hug Walter for me :)
Happy PFF !
This is a really fantastic postcard.
It is so sad that this building is no longer around for us to visit .Such a neat history for an amazing builing to have.Thank you for sharing with us today .
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.
Until Next Time
Happy Trails

Funoldhag said...

Great postcard and story. I have some memorabilia from the Chicago World's Fair. I think my husband's mother or someone in his family went to that. I have a great old book with lots and lots of pictures of the fair in it. Sad that the building was destroyed.

viridian said...

So sorry th hear after all this that it burned down.
Happy PFF, and thanks for sharing.

Sheila said...

What a shame it was destroyed, it was so very much the style of the times. I love the card, and thank goodness that still exists. said...

Interesting stuff! Looks like a cake mold or a roll of some aluminum siding I have.

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