The theme of the Expo "Man in the space Age" aimed at emphasising the contributions of science and research to the American Way of Life, and help reduce the shock of the Soviets' successful space programme.
The fair was divided in five main areas: the World of Science, the World of the 21st Century, the World of Commerce and Industry, the World of Art and the World of Entertainment - but space travel was the key of the Century 21 Exposition.
The fairgrounds were dominated by a symbol of space travel: the Space Needle by John Graham, a 185 metres high spire with a glazed revolving restaurant at the top that could be reached with external lifts that looked like space capsules. Architectural innovation was not limited to the Needle. Paul Thiry designed the futuristic Coliseum (now Key Arena) to house the Washington State Pavilion while Minoru Yamasaki blended Japanese and Gothic aesthetics to create the elegant U.S. Science Pavilion, today's Pacific Science Centre.
The nation pavilions were joined by numerous American company pavilions, among them Ford's dome-shaped building and the building of IBM that exhibited the first computers.
Many impressive displays showed how the experts believed man would live, work, play and travel in Century 21. The Expo presented a fantastic preview of the future, displaying such attractions as a wall-size television, future outer-space communications, the home and car of the future, the electronic library, a working model of a 40-foot-high hydroelectric dam and a clock that runs on gas.
Art was also extremely present in the Fair with 72 masterpieces from artists such as Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Klee, Braque and Picasso.