North Pole Ice Cream

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  • North Pole, night view. Note menu prices. (Hedrich-Blessing photo. "F. Norris Time" inscribed on back.) North Pole, night view. Note menu prices. (Hedrich-Blessing photo. “F. Norris Time” inscribed on back.)
  • Assembly of North Pole Ice Cream. (no credit) Assembly of North Pole Ice Cream. (no credit)
  • Assembly of North Pole Ice Cream. (no credit) Assembly of North Pole Ice Cream. (no credit)
  • North Pole Ice Cream, truck trailer. (no credit) North Pole Ice Cream, truck trailer. (no credit)
  • North Pole Ice Cream, front elevation. (no credit) North Pole Ice Cream, front elevation. (no credit)

our mobile ice cream station, The North Pole, it was meant to wander around. The form of it conformed to road requirements, maximum width and so on
- Oral History

The North Pole mobile ice cream store was a building on wheels. The entire store was portable and was designed to sell ice cream in Chicago in the summer and Florida in the winter. Its glass walls and cantilevered roof were suspended from a mast anchored to a truck chassis, a part of the building.
Goldberg contemplated creating a series of these stores to be served by a "mother-truck" where ice cream would be manufactured. Stores could be installed in a parking lot in a downtown area in the north of the United States during the summertime, and move south during winter.

The inventive little building was influenced by Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House, which featured a similar roofing system. Goldberg showed the design to General Wood, the President of the Sears Roebuck Company, who, as Goldberg states in his Oral History, "was very interested in it as a concept for Sears Roebuck for stores that could be erected quickly in new industrial areas.…He became sort of interested in it but nothing ever happened."

As stated by Goldberg in his Oral History, "the concept of a tension supported roof ---of a roof supported by hanging was something which obviously I hadn't designed or invented - but the awareness of it certainly opened up a new horizon for design...You could get a building that was suddenly open at its edges rather than closed at its edges."