I took a trip to the Expo site on Sunday to see what had been dismantled since my last visit 3-4 weeks ago. There really hasn’t been too much taken down since then. All of the corporate pavilions have disappeared, with no sign that they had ever been there. However, none of the remaining buildings have been touched. The only other structure being removed is the Organizing Committee Office building, across the street from the Expo, near the Expo Town Gate.
So, the only major structures remaining at the site are the very large International Pavilion, the Korea Pavilion, the Theme Pavilion, the Sky Tower and the Big O. I’d make a good guess that the Sky Tower and the Big-O won’t be taken down. The Sky Tower will be a good observation platform for whatever becomes of the site, but I’ve heard from a reliable source that the Big-O’s special water effects won’t be available. It was underestimated how high the costs would be to keep the effects functioning, because they have to be run every day, due to the salt water clogging the system if it’s not used. I suppose the lighting effects would be easy and cheap enough to use, but without the water, it just won’t be the same.
Those lighting effects are located on the Theme Pavilion, which I also have heard won’t be taken down. Most of it wasn’t designed as a temporary structure, since a large mass of it is concrete. If the lighting is used for the Big-O, the system will probably have to stay where it’s at right now.
Here’s a shot of the Big O with the Theme Pavilion behind it. Do you see those 6 small blue spots on the Theme Pavilion? (You might have to click on the photo to enlarge it.) Those are the projectors used to light up the Big O.
The International Pavilion contains the Expo Digital Gallery (EDG), which probably won’t be dismantled. The vast main concourse area, where the EDG is located, has been used successfully as a concert area since the close of the Expo, so I’m gonna guess the Pavilion, at least most of it, will remain.
I’ve also read in one of the English-written Korean newspapers that the Organizing Committee stated that the Korean Pavilion won’t be taken down. Here’s a night view of part of that structure.
Here are a few more shots from last Sunday. First, a couple of views of the corporate pavilions area. The first one looks down the Ocean Plaza walkway and the other was taken from the far end of the Expo site, near the MVL Hotel. If you look at my previous post, you can see what the view down the Ocean Plaza looked like several weeks ago.
If you enlarge the next photo and look to the far right of it, you can see what the corporate pavilion area looked like back in August.
And another shot of the corporate area. The white building on the right is the Cruise Ship Terminal. I assume that cruise ship visits are probably part of the discussion about what to do with the area.
And here’s the area from above the railway station now, and when it was under construction.
Here’s the skeleton of the Organizing Committee Building now, and the building with the “Spyglass Lady” right after it was constructed.
Steel beams from the Local Governments Pavilion are stacked up near the aquarium. The aquarium was again busy this past Sunday, which is hopefully a good sign that the area has a bright future.
One of my former English students, a professor at the university, who is on the advisory committee that is deciding what to do with the site, told me that no decision has been made yet on the future use of the area. Shopping area? Tourist destination? Ocean theme park? High-end resort? No one seems to know, yet, but I’ll keep my eyes and ears open, and as soon as a decision is made, I’ll post about it here. More later.
(The MVL Hotel, self-described as a “seven-star” resort, would be a good option for high-end tourists staying in the area.)