Expo Archaeology

 

Expo archaeology, pavilion spotting or call it Expo safari, a passionated item which we can perfectly combine with our other hobby’s.  Mostly we plan our (oldtimer) trips in function of looking up for Expo Relics. Because of this we come to places where we were never before.

 

By using our Expo archive we found a lot of traces to check out, several motels and other typical Expo constructions got recovered by this way.

 

Sometimes we get spontaneous reactions of people who like to inform us about some Expo items in their neigbourhood. There also are people who send us holiday pictures with Expo relics such as the renovated Praha restaurant.

 

Rather exeptional we meet genuine Expo witnesses who are real explanatory memorandum. Once we got a comprehensive conversation with a very old Catholic sister who was responsible for the purchase of the Canadian pavilion. She could still remember correctly every detail from the transport in 1958 to the last modernisation of their school building.

We even had a meeting with the priest of the Saint Anthony’s church who  gave us passionated and detailled information provided with some sacred history.

And we will never forget the owner of the Expo trains. He needed a complete  Sunday afternoon to guide us trough his oldtimer collection. Remarkable were the fleet of fire brigade cars and the bullets riddled pre-war Cadillac of Al Capone.

 

Relics which are in original shape are hard to find. So we got a few favourits. The Saint Paulus College in Kraainem, Excavators Verbist in Londerzeel, Indoor Swimming Pool in Diest, P58 Fitniss center in Uccle, the Expo Hall in Deurne and all the buildings of the Uccle City Films.

 

The city of Namen donated us a few gondola’s of their cable lift constructed by the Swiss company Von Roll. During the fifties same company has built the Expo 58 cable lift but the gondola’s are different. Typical Von Roll grips and suspensions were used for an reconstruction of an original Expo 58 cable car within the scope of the commemoration in 2008.

 

We are sure that there still are more Expo relics as noted in the following webpages. So, if there are visitors, who know some other Expo remnants, please feel free to mail us.

expo58@skynet.be

Due to the Americans soft ice became the most innovated delicacy of Expo 58 and it was well sold during the exhibiton. Nowadays you can still enjoying many variants of this summery product.

A typical ice cream product from my childhood day’s is still produced by different manufacturers. “The Expo” was a three coloured bloc of icecream packed in a cardboard covering  and served with two separate wafers.  With a little good will you can see the colours of the Belgian flag in it.

 

Especially for the world fair, Cote d’Or  brought a brandnew product  on the market. “Dessert 58” was a praliné filled milk chocolate and it was a hit right from the start.  Today there are two versions available and after more than 45 years it still is the favorit of many Belgians.

Please use buttons to discover the different Expo remnants

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Expo Relics

Expo Relics


At first there was the proposal to extend the exhibition for a couple months.

But the day after, on october 19 when Expo 58 closed its doors, workers began irrevocably to pull down the pavilions. And they did their job very well, only a few originals are left on the Heysel site.

 

Maybe there are roughly 5 remnants to find of the 200 constructions in 1958.

Some of the pavilions were built up again on other locations. Examples of this are the pavilions of U.S.S.R., Canada, Cote d’Or, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

A real Expo-survivor is the Atomium which welcomes more than 300 000 visitors per year !

Unfortunately another eye catcher of Expo 58 disappeared in the seventies. The mighty arrow of the civil engineering had to make place for the Trade Markt buildings

 

The pictures as you can find on the following pages were taken during my trips to Brussels and other locations in Belgium and abroad.

 

If there are visitors, who know some other Expo remnants, please feel free to mail me.

expo58@skynet.be

What happened with the pavilions ?

 

Practically all pavilions and typical expo constructions were pulled down short after the world fair. Most of the used materials were bought up by building contractors. Even private individuals found some useful stuff for building garages, workshops, warehouses, community centers, canteens and so on. Often, by reconstructions, people combined materials of different pavilions, altered the original design or did some own addings to personal taste.

 

So, it's difficult to discover reconstructed pavilions in their original shape. An example of this is the Praha restaurant, which was part of the Czeckoslavakian pavilion during the exhibition and got reconstructed in Prague. After years of deterioration it is now restored as an office building.

 

Other noted reconstructed pavilions are:

 

- Pavilon of USSR, reconstructed as a large exhibition hall in Moskou

- Pavilion of Spain, reconstructed as a gallery for arts in Madrid

- Pavilion of Austria, reconstructed as a museum for modern art in Vienna

- Pavilion of  Venuzuela got reshipped to own country

- Pavilion of Turckey got reconstructed in Ankarra

- Pavilion of Yugoslavia got reconstructed as a school building in Belgium

- Pavilion of Canada, reconstructed as school building in Belgium

 

But entirely Belgium is strewned with not allways visible Expo remnants. For example: the rubble of the blew up Philips pavilion and many transported ground of the Expo terrain was used to level a residential area in Wemmel (B)

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This late sixties picture shows 5 remnants of Expo 58.

1) the arrow of the civil engineering, 2) the decapitated USA pavilion, 3) the pavilion of Comptoir Tuillier, 4) a part of the overpass, 5) the Atomium

Genuine Expo delicacies still available !

 

There still are a few delicious relics of Expo 58 available in Belgium.

 

During the long hot summer of 58, ice creme was a welcome refreshment for the world fair visitors.

 

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Already demolished

Expo constructions

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The mighty arrow of the civil engineering, it  got only demolished in the early seventies.

After years of negligence the Praha restaurant is beautiful renovated now

Classic transportation for exploratory expeditions

Enjoying genuine Expo funiture

A huge Expo relic in Germany

Whoopee, an original !

Expo hunter posing with  trophy

Informative conversations with Expo witnesses

 The Antwerp Nautilus hotel got built with parts from the Expo.

Halfway the nineties the building got demolished to make place for a large parking

 

 The Koekelberg viaduct, once part of the Leopold II avenue in Brussels city was especially built for the world  fair and got rebuilt in Bangkok during the late 80’s

 

The genuine Expo buildings of the Brussels Meli Park got demolished in the late 70’s for the Brupark and Kinepolis constructions

Top picture shows the Martini pavilion in the early 80’s

 

Rockband Pink Floyd during a promo shot in 1968.  This picture proves that the overpass was still a part of the Ossegem park in the late sixties