An Inside Peak at the World’s Largest Steel Globe

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Reda Abouleish
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The Unisphere is the world's largest global steel structure.

There are many infamous steel structures located throughout the world.  We have touched on a few public art sculptures, the Eiffel Tower and the London Olympics Aquatic Center.  Today, let’s highlight the world’s largest steel global structure, the Unisphere.

For the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, the Fair Committee searched for an iconic sculpture design that would represent global interdependence and celebrate the launch of the new space age era.  Derived from these parameters the Unisphere was created.

The Unisphere was funded by the United States Steel Corporation and constructed by the American Bridge Company.  It is a 12 story high, 700,000 pounds globe made from Type 304L stainless steel.  It was conceived by Gilmore Clarke and is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the borough of Queens, New York City.

What separates this structure from other steel works during that time period is the unusual lighting effects.  At night, the fair featured the structure by shining intense lighting onto the surface.  The effect of the lighting against the shiny, steel surface emitted an image of a sunrise moving across the Earth.  Furthermore, in the original design there were four light bulbs placed in each nation’s capitals and indicating the Kahnawake Indian Reservation.  This was done as homage to the iron workers from the Reservation that worked on the structure.

There are many different stainless steel works of art in public, free spaces.  Check out what exists in your local area today.

To find out more about stainless steel and nickel alloy bars contact National Specialty Alloys.

 

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