The New York connection.

The small cone and sphere metal sculpture in the Fletcher Jones gardens once sat atop the Man's Shop in Liebig St. before moving to the top of the Pleasant Hill factory building and later to a small tower in the gardens.   Towering above the small sculpture is another metal cone and sphere formation - Warrnambool's famous Silver Ball. So why was this cone and sphere formation so important to Fletcher?

Fletcher was inspired by the 1939 New York World Fair and adopted its famous symbol of progress, the Trylon and Persiphere, an enormous sculpture celebrating the theme of 'The World of Tomorrow'. 

The Perisphere was approximately 60m in diameter, and was accessible to hundreds of thousands of visitors who entered via the Trylon. Inside the tremendous sphere was a viewing platform, looking down on ‘Democracity’, an architectural model of a future city designed for a population of over a million people.

Democracity was a utopian futurist vision, where town planning compartmentalised the functions of society into districts. They included; Centerton, where business and education were conducted; Pleasantville, satellite towns of about 10,000 residents each; Millville, satellite industrial centres; and The Farms. It's not at all a stretch to imagine that Fletcher's garden, 'Pleasant Hill', was a play on 'Pleasantville'.

Democracity has inspired many city layouts around the world; it was similar in appearance to Canberra, with abundant parklands and circular districts linked by sprawling highways.

More information can be found at the link below and you can see the Perisphere and the Trylon in the New York World Fair video below.  

Reference to FJ and the Trylon & Perisphere is also found on page 173 of 'The Garden of Ideas; Four Centuries of Australian Style', by Richard Aitken, and of course in FJ's book, 'Not by Myself'. The Trylon and Perisphere are also regularly referenced in pop culture, such as 'The Simpsons',  'Homeland', and the George Clooney film 'Tomorrowland'.

 

Thanks to Gareth Colliton for this story.  

The sphere and trylon can be seen on the roof of the FJ Pleasant Hill building.  Nucolorvue Postcard Album from Rena and Fletcher Jones and shared by Ralph and Joyce Jones.
The Trylon and Persiphere from a poster advertising the 1939 New York World Fair.  Image shared by Carol Altmann
The small sphere and trylon sculpture that now resides in the FJ gardens was firstly on top of the Man's Shop in Liebig St in Warrnambool, where FJ started his tailoring business in 1931.  This photo is dated 1946.   Photo: Jones Family Collection
The small sphere and trylon on top of a sculpture in 1961.  While the small cone and sphere are still in the garden, this larger structure no longer exists in the gardens.  Photo: Jones Family Collection
1968 and the Silver Ball, also a sphere, now towers above the smaller sculpture.   So why was this cone and sphere formation so important to Fletcher? Photo: Jones Family Collection
Another view of the sculpture in 1960.  Photo: Jones Family Collection
The sculpture in the gardens in colour.  From a Nucolorvue Postcard Album of Pleasant Hill gardens, courtesy of Tony Drylie
The sphere and trylon can be seen on the roof of the FJ Pleasant Hill building.  Nucolorvue Postcard Album courtesy of Claire and Tony Drylie
The slightly battered sphere and trylon sculpture in a garden bed in the FJ gardens in 2017.  Photo; Tim Carlton

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