Fair in 40|
Dream Will Come True
Santa Claus paid an early visit yesterday to jam San Franciscos stockings
with the best anybody could ask fora new and more glorious
Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940!
The role of Kris Kringle and his reindeer was played by Burton J. Wyman,
Federal Court referee, when he affixed the words, order to confirm is
granted to a batch of legal papers handed to him in his Market street
Will Shine for 18 Weeks of New Year
Shorn of legal camouflage and lawyer-like verbosity, these papers meant
simply that Treasure Island will blossom again with wonders and
fun-making, with light, color and happiness, for 18 brief weeks next year, and
that the world will beat a path to the Pacific once more to sample the
hospitality of San Francisco and California as it did in 39.
Wymans pen scratched approval to a plan submitted by Randell Larson,
attorney for the San Francisco Bay Exposition Corporation, attorneys for
the men and the corporations, to which the fair owes $4,189,213.84, and
meeting with the approval of all.
Dates for Opening, Closing Announced
The fair will open Saturday, May 25, and close on Sunday, September 29,
or a run of a little more than four months, according to tentative dates
already decided upon.
But above these names, and above the names of all others when the success
of the Fair in 40 will have been history, will be written one other. It
will be that of George D. Smith, hotel [Mark Hopkins] man and civic leader.
Smith was the one man in San Francisco who refused to believe when
nearly everyone else said there was no possibility of a second year for the
When tough creditors and discouraged boosters had beaten down the
optimism, it was Smith who held on and refused to listen to reason. And
the agreement which won the approval of the Federal Court yesterday was
largely the result of one mans efforts and workGeorge D.
In the flush of final victory, Smith was just as filled with enthusiasm and
new plans for the fair as he has been during the sometimes disheartening
campaign to reopen the fair. And as he sat in his office on top of Nob Hill
and listened to the Ferry building siren shriek out the song of victory, as it
always tells of any unusual event in San Francisco, Smith was just
beginning to fight.
The Fair in 40 will be so much greater than the 39 fair that there wont
be any comparison exulted the victor. It'll still be Treasure Island, but
it'll also be Pleasure Island.
Next year the first rule behind every consideration for the fair will be to
have a good time. All else will be secondary.
Plans Sputter Out in Rapid Fire
Smith fairly spluttered as he outlined what the new fair will have to offer.
As the attractions poured out of him like champagne from a newly opened
magnum, it appeared more than any one man could cope with.
Eighty per cent of this years big exhibitors are waiting to have papers
shoved at em to sign.
In place of the other 20 percent there are so many more waiting that those
who didnt re-sign will look foolish!
The movie industry is going to take over a whole exhibit palace to show
how the flickers are made, produced, exhibited and whatnot.
The lagoon will be transformed into a display of lights, fountains and
music that will dwarf anything along a similar line seen at the New York
Billy Rose will bring his Aquacade here; the Coliseum will be moved to
accommodate it. There will be one of the most elaborate Ice Follies shows
ever staged; there will be streamlined Shakespearean repertory; Chrysler
wants to erect its own building; Ford will be back in its own house;
General Motors will install its Highways of Tomorrow that proved such
a success in New York!
Gayway to Blaze Out Bigger, Better
The Gayway, bigger and better than ever, will be moved nearer to the
center of the island by stretching it up the Avenue of Olives. International
Business Machines will double its exhibit space, the University of
California will have a much greater exhibit; the State of California and the
counties will enlarge and improve their exhibits; the Yerba Buena Club
will be reorganized and reopened.
Eastman Kodak, Kraft Cheese will come in, there will be more shows,
more free entertainment, more name bands and big names of all kinds.
One might think Smith would pause for break here, but he doesnt! He goes
on and on.
Herbert Fleishhacker has already completed plans to bring the best of
American art to replace the $39,000,000 worth of old masters housed this
year in the Palace of Fine and Decorative Arts. He has also secured
promises of loans from New York, Washington, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and
Chicago. The Thorne model rooms will be back.
It is impossible to listen to Smith for a few minutes and not get enthusiastic
about Treasure Island in 1940. If it isnt quite a party it wont be this hotel
Agreement Gives All Creditors a Share
The agreement to which Wyman affixed his signature is comparatively
simple. Creditors have been divided into two classes, those who want to
play and those who dont. The latter will be paid off on the exact basis they
would have been paid had the fair been abandoned and torn down now. The
others will defer their payments until after next years operation, when
they will sit in at a split of the kitty as it exists then.
The exposition corporation will continue to operate the fair through its
executive committee of 10 men, augmented by five additional appointed
from the creditors committee.
Only resignation from the creditors committee was that of J.J. Hunter of
the Bank of California, consistent opponent of a 1940 reopening.
The others whose names were added to the executive committee are
Clarence Eaton, contractor; Harry H. Hilp, contractor; Don W. Messer,
hotel supply man; B.W. Letcher, general auditor for the Standard Oil
Company of California, and George W. Brainard of the Board of Trade.
Brainard was also appointed disbursing agent for the new fair, all monies
to be received and paid by him by authority of the Federal Court.
The 10 remaining members of the executive committee are Leland W.
Cutler, George D. Smith, James B. Black, Philip H. Patchin, Colbert
Coldwell, J. Ward Mailliard Jr., George Creel, Alfred J. Cleary, Atholl
McBean and John F. Forbes.
The augmented committee will meet, probably next Tuesday, to begin the
promotion and publicity work, make all plans for operation and generally
get the ball rolling.
Retention of Board Will Be Urged
Until the committee meets nothing further concerning the operation and
management can be definitely stated. But Smith, thus far the Fairs only
spokesman, said the former Board of Management, consisting of Patchin,
Black, Coldwell and Mailliard, would be asked to remain in charge.
Smith said he favors the retention, in an advisory capacity at least, of Dr.
Charles H. Strub, managing director during the finaland most
successfuldays of the 1939 Fair.
If he can prevent it, said Smith, there will be no big salaries in Fair
management next year.
Smith favors keeping admission charged to 50 cents, with reductions or
bargain days and for purchasers of large blocks. The parking charge will
be 25 cents, half of the first year, he said.
The goal of the four months of operation will be 5,000,000 attendance, said
Smith, which will ensure a profit in operation and a successful year. This
compares with the 20,000,000 the first year, scarcely half of which was
San Francisco Chronicle
Saturday, December 23, 1939
Return to the top of the page.