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Perylon Hall
Perylon Hall - photo 159

Perylon Hall was used to entertain all visiting heads of state: kings, presidents, and governors. It was closed on September 25 or 26, 1939, due to the great pressure put on Governor Whalen and the Fair to make more money

One of the last banquets held there was for Secretary of State Cordell Hull on September 22. All subsequent receptions were held at the Terrace Club or at the Administration Building's restaurant.

The Fair Corporation later decided to re-open Perylon Hall daily, except Sunday, to offer luncheons at $1.50 and dinner at $3.50.


Trylon Tidbits
  • Marion Miner Wolff, the Fair's interior designer, dubbed the special reception headquarters Perylon Hall – a poetic combination of the nearby Trylon and Perisphere. Mrs. Wolff explained the words described the building's design elements of circle and straight line as expressed by the theme center.
  • Grover Whalen traveled by car on the peripheral highway, the only road on the fairgrounds meant for private automobiles, from his offices in the Administration Building to Perylon Hall.
  • Mrs. Wolff defied tradition when decorating Grover Whalen's office in Perylon Hall, using only two colors, green and off-white, instead of three. The designer explained that visitors' apparel would add the contrasting third tone.
  • The circular-shaped lounge on the building's roof provided the best view of the fairgrounds. Invited guests ascended a spiral staircase to a reception room decorated in white and highlighted with dogwood blossoms. One wag commented: "The pile on this carpet is so deep that they have to throw life preservers to any one under six feet tall who steps on it." Venetian blinds and curtains with wide green stripes covered the room's two glass walls, affording broad views of the exposition. The peculiar shade of dark green was named "Perylon Green" by Miriam Wolff. Mrs. Wolff also designed the over-sized furniture, meant to compliment the room's circular design.
  • Perylon Hall housed the fair's two leather-bound, ten-by-fourteen inch official guest registers. Their inscriptions read: Royal Visitors to the New York World's Fair and Distinguished Visitors to the New York World's Fair. Norway's Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha were the first to sign the royal register. The Fair provided a new pen for each entry.
  • General fair visitors could dine at Perylon Hall's restaurant for lunch costing $1.50 or dinner for $3.50. Specialties included chicken with four vegetables for $2.25, squab en casserole for $1.75, and steak and a vegetable for $2.00. (Remember a dollar in 1939 is equivalent to $16.89 in 2016) However, when the Fair's governing board replaced Grover Whalen as president in late August; they also restricted the Perylon's restaurant to advanced reservations only.
  • Grover Whalen hosted two types of receptions at Perylon Hall where Sherry's served as caterer. The average cost ranged around $700.
  • The Grade A for foreign dignitaries following champagne and hors-d'oeuvres while signing the guest book: Burgundy, sauterne and champagne cocktails; seafood or fruit salad, entrĂ©e, vegetable, dessert and coffee; butter stamped with the Trylon and Perisphere.
  • The Grade B for other dignitaries with no champagne and hors-d'oeuvres while signing the guest book: Burgundy only and then the same meal.