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A POPULAR verdict pronounces the Administration Building gem and crown of the Exposition palaces. It is located at the west end of the great court in the southern part of the site, looking eastward, and at its rear are the transportation facilities and depots. This imposing edifice cost $450,000. The architect is Richard M. Hunt, of New York, President of the American Institute of Architects, to whose established reputation it is a notable contribution. It covers an area of 260 feet square and consists of four pavilions 84 feet square, one at each of the four angles of the square and connected by a great central dome 120 feet in diameter and 220 feet in height, leaving at the center of each facade a recess 82 feet wide, within which are the grand entrances to the building. The general design is in the style of the French renaissance. The first story is in the Doric order, of heroic proportions, surrounded by a lofty balustrade and having the tiers of the angle of each pavilion crowned with neat artistic sculpture. The second story, with its lofty and spacious colonnade, is of the Ionic order. The four great entrances, one on each side of the building, are feet wide and 50 feet high, and covered by semi-circular arched vaults, richly coffered. In the rear of these arches are the entrance doors, and above, great screens of glass, furnishing abundant light to the central rotunda.
Almost every visitor to the Fair saw the spectacular east portal of the Administration Building. The prominent and handsome figure of Columbus, which stood in the portal, was the work of Miss Mary T. Lawrence, and represented the landing of Columbus, and the planting of the Spanish flag in the colonies of the New World.
Two bandstands flank the Administration Building. The Machinery Building is on the left and the Electricity Building is on the right.
View from Electricity Building, looking southwest.
Administration Building, from Agricultural Building by William Henry Jackson.
World’s Columbian Exposition 1893.
Administration Building at Night
Architectural drawing of Administration Building