Our story begins in 1961, with billionaire art collector and New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and peripatetic critic and architect Philip Johnson. The two men were connected through the Museum of Modern Art: Rockefeller’s mother had co-founded the institution and Johnson was the first director of its architecture department. When Rockefeller asked Johnson to design the New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, his only instructions were to make the host state’s structure the tallest at the global expo.
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