Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Orleans 1885: Government & States Building.....

The Government & States Building, officially named the United States and States Exhibits Building, was the second-largest exhibition structure erected for World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. Designed by Mississippi architect Gustav M. Torgerson, the structure contained fourteen acres of exhibit space, including the second-floor galleries, and measured 885 feet wide by 565 feet deep. Constructed entirely of wood, the building was designed in an eclectic French renaissance style with pre-fabricated detailing on the exterior walls. Eight entrances gave access to the interior.....three being situated on each of the east and west sides, and one on both the north and south sides. The exterior of the structure featured eight mansard-roofed towers, reaching heights of ninety-six located at each corner, and one each at the center of the building's four walls. The center tower on the south side contained a roof-deck, accessible by an electric elevator, offering panoramic views over Lake Rubio and the exposition grounds. Numerous windows were placed along the building's four sides, and the majority of the roof was composed of large glass skylights, providing natural lighting of the interior. The building contained unobstructed floor space for the hundreds of exhibits and displays located within. At the center of the structure was located the United States Government exhibit, occupying over three acres. Covering the remainder of the expansive floor, on either side of the government displays, were located the exhibits of the U.S. States and Territories. Headquarters and offices of the states and territories were placed around the perimeter of the building, in numerous pavilions formed by various architectural projections. On the spacious second-floor galleries, which surrounded the building, were located the exhibits of the Educational, Woman's, and Colored People's departments. The spacious galleries were accessible by several stairways and electric elevators. At night the interior was completely illuminated by 300 electric arc-lights. South of the Government & States Building, on a small island at the north-west corner of Lake Rubio, was situated the U.S. Life Saving Service building. This structure was a division of the United States Government exhibit, located within the Government & States Building.

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