Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Animated Architecture: The Fun Pad

It was a retro-future spin (pun intended) on a traditional amusement pier and was inspired in just about everything but name.  The Fun Pad just seemed too generic for a Jetsons-era entertainment complex.  It was one of the destinations of Judy Jetson and Jet Screamer in The Jetsons episode, "A Date with Jet Screamer."

An amusement park is a near perfect subject for a space age-Googie makeover.  Rollercoasters, ferris wheels, and spinning rides are easily adapted to "space age designs that depict motion," one of the fundamental components of Googie design as cited in Wikipedia.  Hanna Barbera background artists Art Lozzi, Bob Abrams and Lee Branscome effectively brought those concepts to a successful realization.  I especially like the the very practical lower level parking decks.

The Fun Pad had a real life counterpart of sorts.  Astro Land, located on New York's famed Coney Island, was advertised as the nation's first "space age" amusement park when it opened in 1962.  The Jetsons, coincidentally, debuted on television that very same year.