The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE ILLINOIS BUILDING - The gift of Illinois to the Exposition was $800,000, and of this sum, $250,000 were expended on the ambitious structure (one of the fifteen so-called main buildings) which is portrayed on this page. The architect was W. W. Boyington. The presence of two tower-like domes so near together as were the superstructures of the Illinois and Government, greatly increased the criticism which fell on each, particularly to the lot of the State edifice, and it is certain that the heavy colors and tall lantern of the Illinois dome did much to prejudice against it all admirers of the classic forms. The body of the building, however, was impressive, and could some small city have boasted a hall so stately, its pride might easily have been pardoned. Added to the general animadversions of the friends of the Art Palace , which was curtained by our Prairie State's headquarters, was the additional dissatisfaction that Illinois had no home parlors for her people. The building was for exhibits. Its display was beautiful and often unique, but the multitude, on Illinois Day, ate its lunch outside. There was the bell presented to the Kaskaskia Church by the King of France; the grotto, fish-pounds and water-fall, and above all, the grain-picture, which was taken to the Mid-winter Fair at San Francisco, and many exhibits which belonged in the Horticultural , Ethnological, Agricultural and Manufactures Buildings. The authorities were always at war with the directory of the Exposition, and maintained their entire independence to the last. The big dome was two hundred feet high, and the rotunda contained a notable rustic fountain. The greatest length of this building was four hundred and fifty feet.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998