The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin Library Digital History Collection
Page Next Page
  View larger images: 750x500 pixels or 1500x1000 pixels or Dream City Index
  THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - This structure nobly sustained the expectations of the public, and held a sovereign position among all the wonders of the Fair. It was designed by Richard M. Hunt, of New York, and, besides serving as headquarters for the chief officers of the Exposition, its spacious rotunda offered a favorite meeting place for friends, and was thronged early and late by admirers of the beautiful and impressive in architecture. Four square edifices (called pavilions) of the general height of the principal facades of the Exposition, were placed at the corners of a quadrangular square of two hundered and fifty feet, and from the inner corners of the roofs of these edifices rose the beautiful French octagonal dome, which, in addition to its gilding, bore a conspicuous outer ornamentation in relief. Between each pavilion was a space about ninety feet square, making the entrances to the rotunda - that is, the main entrances - about that far from the outer lines of the building. The whole design was in three stages: the first was the four pavilions, and carried the height sixty-five feet, to a level with the facades of the Court of Honor ; the next stage was a central one, forty feet high; the third stage was the dome itself. The first stage was Doric, the second Ionic, with a colonnade of great dignity, as viewed from its loggia; the third was the ribbed dome, with its sculptural panels, and reached a height of two hundred and sixty feet from the floor below. The rotunda was ornamented with panels that bore the names of nations and celebrated men, with didactic inscriptions; and in the upper part of the vault were Dodge's allegorical paintings. At night the dome was lighted with incandescent bulbs so as to define its panels, and a corona shone on its crest, making a memorable illumination - the chief beauty of the Fair. The total cost was $650,000.
Exposition Home Page || Previous Page || Next Page || Dream City Main Page

Copyright, Paul V. Galvin Library
Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998