World's Fair Rubik's Cube Has New Home

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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World's Fair Rubik's Cube Has New Home

Posted: 07/16/2007
After 25 years as a vagabond the world's largest Rubik's Cube has finally found a permanent home.

On Monday Public Service Department crews from Service Area 1 and Facilities Services relocated the 10-foot-high, 1,200-pound cube from the ground floor of Knoxville Convention and Exhibition Center to the upstairs section where the KCEC connects with the Holiday Inn's lobby.

The cube, recently restored, had been placed in the KCEC for exhibit during the city's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the World's Fair. It wasn't an easy move on Monday. It took more than a dozen people to break the Cube down - the base had to be taken apart and the two outside panels removed - carry it to its new home and then re-install it.It was in place by mid-morning on Monday."It wasn't too bad," said Alex Neubert, manager of Service Area 1. "The panels were just awkward. They probably weigh about 300 pounds." The central section of the Cube, which includes the motor that turns it, weighs about 600 pounds.Both Neubert and Steve Dyer, manager of Facilities Services, which built the base for the Rubik's Cube, worked inside the structure Monday morning preparing it for installation at its new home.

Jason Burgoyne, director of operations for the Knoxville Convention Center, was also involved in the effort.

It will hopefully be the last move for the Rubik's Cube, which graced the entrance to Hungary's Pavilion at the 1982 World's Fair.An oversized model of the wildly popular early 1980s toy designed by Hungarian Architecture Professor Erno Rubik it became one of the Fair's most well known icons - and one of the few things that remain from the 1982 World's Fair.

But it had fallen on hard times since those days and by 2006 it was quietly rusting away beneath an overpass near World's Fair Park.After the World's Fair the giant puzzle had moved from place to place finding temporary homes with the University of Tennessee, the City of Knoxville and the East Tennessee Historical Society, before it ended up resting outside.After media reports about its condition last year former Knox County Executive Dwight Kessel, a mechanical engineer and ETHS board member, restored the Rubik's Cube with the assistance of several UT engineering students.

Several donors provided funding for the restoration.