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In a determined effort to swell the fair's attendance, while equally increasing the fairgoers' pleasure, planners for "The World of Tomorrow" created two distinctly different looks for the fair: one for daytime visitors and one for nighttime patrons.

The Fair's architecture received decidedly mixed, if not downright disastrous, reviews. Critics called the exposition gaudy, an impressive riot of color, sound and immensity. Others likened the modernistic buildings to something fished out of an alphabet soup. And Lucius Beebe professed that, under close scrutiny, the architecture would act as an esthetic emetic. But once night fell on Flushing Meadows, everyone's opinion changed dramatically.

Suddenly the fair became a vast fairyland of soft colors and quiet coolness; Aladdin's palaces of light and color. According to John Bloog, who attended every world's fair since 1908, the Petroleum Industries pavilion that appeared as an emphatically horizontal structure by day, through the magic of blue lighting, morphed into a Chinese temple during the evening.

In fact, the Fair's designers intended this enchanted transformation of the fairgrounds from the exposition's conception.

Grover Whalen presented the parameters: the color and lighting should astound and stimulate the senses during the daylight hours, but in the evening they would appear both poetic and misty. To achieve this goal of architecture by light, the Fair hired the world's premier industrial lighting designer, Bassett Jone

Chicago's groundbreaking Columbian Exposition in 1893 set the standard for evening illumination. Using a mixture of gas jets and the newly-developed incandescent light bulb, the exposition attempted to make the White City appear by night as it did by day. But the New York Fair would be different from any previous exposition. Bassett Jones envisioned the 1939 exposition as a nighttime canvas awaiting color.

Jones proposed to let nature's darkness be a curtain for the daytime fair. The lighting designer imagined each building's night appearance as quite different from its daytime appearance. Jones insisted: "Don't get the idea that this is modern lighting. This sort of thing goes back to the eleventh century. It is the sort of light Scheherazade used in her gardens we read about in the Arabian Nights."

To achieve this transformation, Jones set forth the criterion for the overall project: the pavilions should not be totally illuminated, no floodlights would be used, there was to be no glare against the sky, and the use of fluorescent lighting could not be used for signage.

In fact, about 30% of the nighttime lighting would be comprised of the still experimental fluorescent lamp. Jones informed the laboratory workers developing the fluorescent lamp that the fairgrounds would be its vast testing ground. What would have taken three years of experimenting in the laboratories became a reality in months at the fair.

Bassett Jones put the new lamps to effective use in his pet conception, under-lighting the trees. Using a good deal of ultra- violet light, the chlorophyll in the leaves glowed at night. The editorial staff of The Queens Evening News raved over the "pattern of Spring grace" effected by the illuminated trees. However, the technique did have an unusual downside.

Fairgoers noticed strategically placed signs warning: Danger – Live Wires. The notices were meant for fair employees, alerting them to power lines buried seven to ten inches below the surface. Previously, a workman in the process of removing a tree axed into a power line and was knocked out by the shock.