On either side of the main entrance are mammoth Corinthian pillars, fifty feet in height and five feet in diameter. On each corner as well as at the center rise pavilions, the central one being one hundred and forty-five feet square. Curtains connect the corner pavilions with the main building, so that there is formed a continuous arcade around the building. The main entrance, sixty-four feet in width, leads into a vestibule whence one passes into a rotunda whose diameter is one hundred feet, and which is surmounted by a mammoth glass dome, one hundred and thirty feet in height.
The vestibule is adorned with statuary designed to illustrate agricultural industry, and the main entrances likewise are furnished elaborately with similar groups. The corner pavilions are crowned by domes ninety-six feet high, above which tower groups of statuary, the design being that of three female figures, herculean in proportions, which support an immense globe. The Agricultural Building covers more than nine acres, while the Dairy and Forestry Buildings add 6.2 acres and the total cost has been a million of dollars. South of the Agricultural Building there is yet an annex devoted to the uses of an Agricultural Assembly Hall and to the exhibition of Live Stock.
The general tone or color is light gray stone. The construction, although of a temporary character, is necessarily fire-proof. The main walls are of solid brick, covered with “staff,” architecturally ornamented, while the roof, floors and galleries are of iron. All light is supplied through glass sky-lights in iron frames. The building is located beautifully in the northern portion of the Park, with the south front facing the Lagoon. On the first floor, near the main entrance, is located a Bureau of Information which will furnish visitors with all required information in regard to the Agricultural Exhibits, or indeed in regard to the other features of the Exposition.
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It is separated from the Lagoon by beautiful terraces, ornamented with balustrades, with an immense flight of steps leading down from the main portal to the Lagoon, where there is a landing for boats. The north front faces the wide lawn and the group of State buildings. The immediate neighborhood of the building is ornamented with groups of statues, replica ornaments of classic art, such as the Choriagic monument, the “Cave of the Winds,” and other beautiful examples of Grecian art.
The ornamentation also includes statues of heroic and life-size proportions. This building cost between $500,000 and $900,000. The Art Palace was planned in the World’s Fair Construction Department under the eye of Supervising Architect D. II. Burnham, and the details worked out by Chief Designer P. B. Atwood; the annex is sub- stantially, in its facade at least, the outline plan, left by the late consulting architect, George W. Root. The Department of Fine Arts has been subdivided so as to represent the interests included under Architectural Progress, Monumental Decoration, Civil Engineering, Public Buildings, Private Buildings, Foundations and Estimates, and Working Plans for Mason, Carpenter, and Painter.
THE MACHINERY HALL. Machinery Hall, of which Peabody & Stearns, of Boston, are the architects, has been pronounced by many architects second only to the Administration Building in the magnificence of its appearance. This building measures 850x500 feet, and with the Machinery Annex and Power House, cost about $1,000,000. It is located at the extreme south end of the Park, midway between the shore of Lake Michigan and the west line of the Park. It is just south of the Administration Building, and west and across a Lagoon from the Agricultural Building.
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