The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE CEYLON BUILDING - On the 21st of February, 1893, during very cold weather, a party of fifty-three Singhalese, or natives of Ceylon, arrived at Jackson Park, with three hundred tons of material, and set at work, their principal labor being the erection of the characteristic pavilion which is portrayed in the engraving. None of the Singhalese had ever before been outside of the tropics, and scarcely knew there was a world of ice, snow and storm, until their ill-clothed forms felt the piercing blasts of Lake Michigan. They were given a site on the lake shore, very beautiful in July, but very trying in March, and began their toil in Chicago. Beside their kiosks in the Woman's and Manufactures Buildings, they duly finished and opened this "Ceylon Court," which shows an octagonal building in the centre, with two wings, reaching one to the north and the other to the south. The length of the entire building was one hundred and forty-eight feet; the width of the central part was fifty feet. The doorway was handsomely carved in imitation of ancient temples, and the general appearance of the edifice recalls, with astonishing force, the architecture of the Japanese, as seen on the Wooded Island. It was the business of Commissioner Grinlinton, of Ceyon, to bring to the attention of Western commerce the teas, nutmeg, ebony, cinnamon, mace, drums, hair ornaments, and carvings of the celebrated island of Hindostan. Of all the Oriental races, the Singhalese made the most agreeable impressions on Americans.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998