Saturday, June 12, 2021

Wallet Card at one of the last remaining "Peace Through Understanding" arches from the 1964 World's Fair

 During the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing, NY, one innovation was the use of 11 60-foot arches that featured some brand new technology - electronic message boards that displayed local, national and international news. Sponsored by General Foods, some of the arches were scrapped after the fair, but others have survived - repurposed arches have been found in Warwick, RI, Old Forge, NY and Huntsville, OH. At the top of each arch, a sign with the phrase "Peace Through Understanding" was bolted on.

Not too far from the original World's Fair location, another arch sits in a shopping center parking lot in West Hempstead, Long Island. At the end of the fair, Whitey Carlson, owner of the 5,200-seat Island Garden arena in West Hempstead, purchased the arch and other material to display at the arena. The arena hosted a variety of sporting events, concerts, circuses, conventions, etc. From 1969 to 1972, it was the home of the ABA's New York Nets. After the Nets moved down Hempstead Turnpike to the newer, larger, Nassau Coliseum, the Island Garden was torn down, replaced by the Cherry Valley Shopping Center, which features a supermarket and several other stores. Here is the arch today, with a cherry in place of "Peace Through Understanding" and store signs replacing the electronic message board. The bottom of the arch is large enough to drive your car through (which I did).

Just now I published the post, blew up my photo and noticed the sign on the inside - "Employee Parking for Pathmark, Genovese, Radio Shack, Astoria Federal Savings". Pathmark went out of business in 2015 (though the name has been revived); the Genovese pharmacy chain was bought by Eckerd in 2003 (I used to get baseball cards at a different Genovese when I was a kid); Radio Shack is all but out of business; Astoria Federal was acquired by Sterling Bank in 2017. Four extinct brands on one sign!


  1. Didn't know Genovese was in the card business

  2. Man, that arch brings back some memories. My sister played some softball games at a nearby field when we were kids. Glad the arch and the Cherry Valley sign are still there!

  3. You packed a lot of great info into this small post! World's Fairs are fascinating to me. And I'm happy to hear you drove through the arch. I wouldn't have been able to resist that either.

    I haven't heard anyone mention Genovese in 30+ years! Wish I could remember if I'd bought cards there.

  4. I wonder how many people driving by this arch on a daily basis, actually know it's history.