The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  CENTRE OF THE WOODED ISLAND - The engraving places us centrally in the Wooded Island, among the fairy lamps, and facing the dome of Horticultural Hall, which, owing to this broad view, ranked as the second conspicuous object in the park. On the other side of the island, opposite this dome, rose the Manufactures Building, like a mountain, a structure too large for immediate view. In the park, the Administration Building was first; this vista of dome and thought of flowers was second; but in the lake, a mile away, the big building was given scope, and scenes like this receded into littleness or nothing. In 1891, this beautiful place was a reedy marsh. For a mile, the blackbirds sang and the frogs piped their ship-caulking chorus. Under the direction of Superintendent Ulrich, with thousands of men, with sand-cars, dredges, and steam-shovels, the very aspect of nature was changed within the space of sixty days. Some of the marsh was dug into lagoons, and the sand beneath was placed in the centre for dry land. Black earth was first skimmed away and piled into a hill at one side of the park, and afterward spread forth upon the yellow expanse. The scene was one of Creation. The leading spirit in the park during its fiercest turmoil was Dion Geraldine, Superintendent of Construction, and subsequent failure to open on time, because, perhaps, of his absence, seemed to prove that but for his astonishing energy, there would have been no complete Fair even in July, 1893. The fairy lamps seen here have been used in Europe for ages.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998