Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay was created to host the Golden Gate International Exposition, a World’s Fair, in 1939-40. The fair was an expression of an idealized order of both design and international relations. Neither survived much longer than the fair itself. The author considers the creation and re-creation of Treasure Island and the problem of building for an uncertain, ultimately unknowable future. This article is a critical appreciation of Andrew Shanken’s Into the Void Pacific, a design history of the fair.

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