The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  HEMICYCLE OF THE ELECTRICITY BUILDING - This pylon, which fronted on the Administration plaza, was the one relieving feature of a building that perhaps failed to meet the requirements of its surroundings. But, in itself, it is quite likely that there was nowhere else on the grounds a portal so grand and beautiful. By far the best statue in the park - the heroic effigy of Benjamin Franklin, looking toward heaven ere he set loose his kite to catch the lightnings - stood on a high pedestal, a monument not only of the great father of the republic whom it counterfeited, but a testimony as well of the genius of Carl Rohl-Smith, the Danish sculptor, whose other Chicago work, The Indian Massacre, may be seen in bronze near the Pullman residence, at Eighteenth street. The colors in the vault of the Hemistyle were yellow and greenish-blue. Corinthian pillars and pilasters may be seen, and over them part of the Latin epgram of Mirabeau, the French orator, on Franklin: "Eripuit caelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis" - that he had wrenched the thunderbolt from heaven and the sceptre from tyrants, thus referring at once to his genius and patriotism, and offering the most remarkable encomium ever bestowed on man by man. Of the statuary, beside the pedimental group, the figures above the consoles and on the sides of the pylon are fifteen feet high, and represent Electricity in its applied form.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998