The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE BELGIAN PORTAL AND FACADE - The scene here portrayed by the photograph is a very truthful one, for the camera has not exaggerated the width of Columbia Avenue in the Manufactures Building. The reader here obtains a fine view of the arches, and although they do not touch the floor until a distance of one hundred and ninety-four feet from the line of chairs has been reached, this is merely the inner hall of the structure, and it still extends another two hundred feet behind this facade. The building, beside this, was one thousand seven hundred and sixty feet long, so it is to be noted that there are many city streets outdoors that are not so wide or so long as Columbia Avenue, which constituted the main aisle. The Belgian Portal was the first of the large interior constructions to reach completion, and was erected by Belgian workmen. The facade was one hundred and forty feet long. It presented a bright and elegant appearance, and it was in these handsome facades that the Austrian, German, French, Belgian, Russian, Swiss, Danish and Canadian peoples, as if by convention, outdid the Americans and British, who had no such main ornaments. Entering this richly paneled and heavily hung portal, a beautiful statue in blue bronze by the lost process in wax, represented Leonidas at Thermopylae. The chinaware here exhibited was considered by many to be the finest ever seen, and the exhibits of Pouyat and Haviland may be mentioned with special propriety. The Belgian and French exhibits in general were equally tasteful.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998