Friday, February 8, 2019
The New York Crystal Palace :: Architecture History
An Ode for the Inauguration of the American Crystal Palace The nations meet, non in war, but in peace, beneath this dome. They meet to bring aureole to God on high and goodwill to men. The Crystal Palace is a symbol of the might of Man. Look on, ye Nations, and vow eternal peace and justice. -William R. Wallace (New York Times, July 14, 1853) When the commencement exercise major international exhibition of arts and industries was held in London in 1851, the London Crystal Palace epitomized the achievements of the entire world at a time when progress was racing forward at a expedite never before known to mankind. The Great Exhibition marked the inception of a tradition of worlds honests, which would be held in major cities all across the globe. Following the success of the London passably, it was inevitable that other nations would soon generate their hand at organizing their own exhibitions. In fact, the next international fair was held totally two years later, in 1853, in New York City. This fair would have its own Crystal Palace to symbolize not only the achievements of the world, but also the nationalistic pride of a relatively young person nation and all that she stood for. Walt Whitman, the great American poet, wrote in The Song of the rendering ... a Palace, Lofter, fairer, ampler than any yet, Earths modern wonder, Historys Seven out stripping, High insurrection tier on tier, with glass and iron facades, Gladdening the sun and sky - enhued in the cheerfulest hues, Bronze, lilac, robins-egg, marine and crimson Over whose golden roof shall flaunt, beneath thy banner, Freedom. The curriculum for an American Crystal Palace originated with Edward Riddle, a Boston auctioneer and carriage-maker. He assembled a group of New York bankers who had either visited or heard wondrous stories about the London exhibition and were more than willing to invest in a similar project in the United States. Riddle attempt but failed to interest the famed entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum, in the project. The group of investors soon petitioned the wag of Aldermen in New York City for use of Madison Square, located in lower Manhattan where Broadway and Fifth Avenue meet at 23rd Street, to skeleton a house of iron and steel for an Industrial Exhibition.