Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Orleans 1885: Horticultural Hall.....

Designed to remain as a permanent addition to Upper City Park, Horticultural Hall was located at the south end of Live Oak Avenue, in the south-eastern portion of the exposition grounds. Constructed entirely of glass and wood, the cross-shaped building measured 600 feet long by 194 feet across, and was promoted as being the world's largest conservatory. The Rendle Company, of New York City, was contracted to provide the glazing for the massive structure, using their patented system of "glazing without putty". Horticultural Hall's major exterior feature was a ninety-foot high mansard-roofed tower, sheathed in glass, located at the center of the building. The spacious interior contained a fifty-foot wide central hall where four rows of long tables, extending through the building's entire length, held hundreds of fruit and other agricultural displays. Horticultural exhibits, consisting of numerous varieties of flowers, ferns, shrubs, trees, and cactus, were located in twenty-five foot wide glass-roofed conservatories, which surrounded the perimeter of the building. Located at the south-east corner was a 250-foot long glass-enclosed hot-house, containing a multitude of tropical plants. At the center of Horticultural Hall, beneath the glass tower, was located a large circular fountain surrounded by lofty Royal palms and a variety of potted-plants. By night the interior of the building was brilliantly illuminated with over fifty electric arc-lights.

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