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From the vault: 1964 World's Fair photos

By Christina Zdanowicz, CNN
updated 4:04 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Going to the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, New York, was <a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1123630'>like taking a vacation</a> for the Ondrovic family, says Robert Ondrovic. Robert is the boy with the pink shirt, standing with his mother, brother and two sisters.
Going to the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, New York, was like taking a vacation for the Ondrovic family, says Robert Ondrovic. Robert is the boy with the pink shirt, standing with his mother, brother and two sisters.
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A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
A throwback to 1964
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robert Ondrovic found his father's photos from the 1964 World's Fair
  • The photos are a throwback to a time of retro clothes and "modern" architecture
  • This week marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the fair
  • Do you have special vintage photos? Share them with CNN iReport

Editor's note: Discover your '60s personality by taking the CNN Sixties quiz.

(CNN) -- While digging through a box that belonged to his father, Robert Ondrovic uncovered a collection of vintage photos that brought him back to the 1964 World's Fair.

Armed with a Yashica camera, Ondrovic's father captured everything from family portraits to the modern architecture, which was considered futuristic at the time, said the New York resident. Ondrovic was just 4 years old when his family visited the fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

Today, the photos are a throwback to a different era: Many of the women are decked out in dresses (though Ondrovic's mother is sporting mint green capris), a man smokes a cigarette as he strolls through the park, and the Zeppelin-like IBM Pavilion heralds the future of technology.

Theodore Ondrovic, the man behind the 1964 photographs.
Theodore Ondrovic, the man behind the 1964 photographs.

"It's nice to look back at these and remember all these memories," said Ondrovic, who originally posted the photos to CNN iReport. "Then photography was a luxury because film was expensive. My dad took everything and put it on slides."

The New York State Pavillion on the fair\'s 50th anniversary.
The New York State Pavillion on the fair's 50th anniversary.

Ondrovic's father introduced both his sons to photography when he bought them Brownie cameras. (Ondrovic's brother, Richard, was allowed to bring his camera to the fair. He's six years older.)

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the grand opening of the fair, which ran April 22 through October 18, 1964, and April through October 1965. The fair's theme of "peace through understanding in a shrinking globe and in an expanding universe," is most easily seen through the 12-story steel globe dubbed the Unisphere. It's one of two structures still standing.

See what the park looks like today

A group of local volunteers has vowed to preserve the other structure, the New York State Pavilion. So far, the New York State Pavilion Paint Project has managed to clean and repaint the iconic building.

What the late '60s really looked like

Vintage photos like these evoke a certain sense of nostalgia. Do you have vintage photographs that are special to you? Share your '60s throwback photos and memories with CNN iReport.

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