From every point of view the Horticultural Building presents an imposing appearance. It is situated immediately south of the entrance to Jackson Park from the Midway Plaisance, and faces east on the lagoon. In front is a flower terrace for outside exhibits, including tanks for Nymphasa and the Victoria Regia. The building is 1,000 feet long, with an extreme width of 2^0 feet. The plan is a central pavilion with two end pavilions each connected with the central one by front and rear curtains, forming two interior courts each 88 by 270 feet. The courts are beautifully decorated in color and planted with ornamental shrubs and flowers. The center pavilion is roofed by a crystal dome 187 feet in diameter and 11? feet high, under which are exhibited the tallest palms, bamboos, and tree ferns that can be procured. There are galleries in each of the pavilions. The galleries of the end pavilions are designed for cafes, the situation and the surroundings being particularly adapted to recreation and refreshment. These cafes are surrounded by an arcade on three sides from which charming views of the grounds can be obtained. The front of the flower terrace, with its low parapet between large handsome vases, which borders the water, forms a boat landing at its center; this makes a highly convenient and attractive feature, and, with its fleet of pleasure boats, reminds one of Venice.
The Book of the Fair, H. H Bancroft, 1893
To him who reads aright the lessons of the Fair, one of the most significant is that the nations of the world are coming nearer together than ever before, and among its highest aims is to hasten this process of unification. Through the activities of man, even the vegetable kingdom is becoming, as it were, a universal brotherhood, and intelligently viewed, the Horticultural department not only affords an opportunity for comparing the products and methods of foreign lands with those of the United States, but offers a panoramic view of the entire vegetable world, its scenes of course shifting with the changing seasons, and though here described in the present tense, displaying innumerable phases such as neither pen nor picture can delineate.
Under the general term horticulture are included, for the purposes of the Exposition, viticulture, pomology, and floriculture, wines, fruits, and flowers being displayed in all stages of development. By means of photographs, books, and appliances are illustrated the modern management of vineyards, and methods of manufacture, bottling, packing, and shipping. In the pomological sections are fresh, dried, preserved, and canned fruits. In a miscellaneous department are nuts, jellies, vinegars, ciders, etc. Here also are mills and presses, and the latest inventions for drying and preserving fruit. Floriculture appears, decked in robes of beauty, gigantic palms and tropical plants forming a background to delicate ferns and flowers. Another sub¬division consists of floral designs and flower stands, with ornamental plants and grasses, and literature relating to their growth and training. Vegetables and seeds, with all the best appliances for ornamental and landscape gardening, are also grouped under the general heading of horticulture.
Panoramic View of the Horticutural Building from the Liberal Arts Building
Fronting 1,000 feet on the lagoon, and with an extreme width of 250 feet, the Horticultural building covers an area of five and three-quarter acres, and with its greenhouses, and other adjuncts, of eleven acres. But as to the size of this structure, and of the other principal structures of the Fair, a better idea may be conveyed by stating that the former, though one of the smallest of the group, is almost as large as the Crystal Palace, in which has been partially preserved the home of the London Exhibition of 1851, and that it contains some go, 000 feet more of exhibiting space than all the three edifices used for similar purposes at the Philadelphia, New Orleans, and the last of the Paris expositions.
While intended mainly as a spacious conservatory, in structural design the Horticultural hall by no means suffers from comparison with its more ambitious neighbors. In a word its plan may be stated as including a central pavilion, more than 200 feet square, surmounted by a crystal dome, and connected with smaller pavilions at either end by two long itudinal series of galleries, glass roofed, from 50 to 70 feet in width, and inclosing garden courts, each somewhat more than half an acre in extent. A feature of the edifice is its decoration in alto and basso relievo, the frieze which is six feet in height, and extends along three of its sides, displaying the handiwork of a cunning artificer.
As to interior effect the arrangement of the building is admirable, and if exception has been taken to the depression of the dome, whose height of 115 feet is barely two-thirds of its diameter, it will be observed that the long, low facades of the conservatory forbid such towering aspirations as are not inappropriate to the more substantial structures of the Exposition. Moreover this seeming disproportion is relieved by the curved class roots of the galleries on either side, by the lower domes at its base, and by the crown with which it is surmounted.
By the architects, Jenney and Mundie of Chicago, was adopted in their decorative plan the style of the Venetian renaissance, while the walls of the front galleries and those which surround the side pavilions are divided by pilasters of the Ionic order into windowed bays, thus reducing the wall surface to the smallest possible area. At the principal entrance, from the terrace fronting on the lagoon, is a triumphal arch, the vestibule of which is profusely decorated with statuary, and on either side of the main pavilion are groups of sculpture fashioned by Lorado Taft, one representing the awakening of the flowers, and the other their repose at spring and autumn tide. These are among the most chaste and expressive of all the artistic embellishments of the Exposition buildings, and standing forth in bold relief under the vault of the central dome, form the complement of the architectural design.
From the promenade gallery encircling the dome, the hall itself, with its wealth of plant life and floral decoration, presents one of the most striking kaleidoscopic vistas contained in this city of wonderland. Rising nearky to the summit of the dome is a miniature mountain, gigantic ferns, and palms, creepers, and flowers of brilliant hue, giving to the scene a rich tropical aspect. Above are great hanging baskets, and at the base, around a border of green fringed with blossoms, the sago palm. Abyssinian banana, screw pine, and other striking forms of tropical vegetation. From this gallery also may be seen to excellent advantage the gigantic forest growth of Australia towering roofward like the pillars of a temple, and in a conservatory opposite the softer floral beauties of the United States.
Picturesque World’s Fair, An Elaborate Collection of Colored Views—
Published with the Endorsement and Approval of George R. Davis
Interior of Horticulture Building
If less picturesque, the central galleries furnish exhibits no less entertaining than those on the ground floor. Among them is a large collection of views of the botanic gardens in Sydney, New South Wales, which have sent so many of their treasures to the Fair. The gardens of the Imperial university at Tokio are also well represented by photographs, and another interesting feature is the artificial fruits of the Yokohama Gardeners’ association. Photographs of famous gardens and nurseries in the Unites States, diagrams of public parks in Colorado, Oregon, and elsewhere, with the models of villa gardens which line other sections of the wall, indicate that a principal object of this gallery exhibit is to illustrate the latest methods of landscape gardening. Then there are richly stocked herbaria, especially from the western states, and thousands of pressed plants and flowers tastefully displayed in revolving frames. One of the most remarkable collections was made by a woman of Colorado, who for months climbed its lofty ranges, and travelled over foothills and plains, contributing in no less than a thousand varieties an almost complete display of its flora. The mouse-fungus, with rust, blight, mildew, rot, and all the pests and plagues of the vegetable kingdom are here exemplified, and there are odd conceits for fences, rustic vases, and other garden ornaments, with collections of dried grasses, and preserved flowers made into wreaths, baskets, and other designs.
Descending to the base of the miniature mountain the visitor finds in this neighborhood, almost side by side with tropical exhibits, special displays from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, the leading agricultural states. Palms from Australia and the Americas lift their graceful fronds, and here are represented the choicest treasures from the conservatories of millionaires, such men as the late Jay Gould, A. J. Drexel, George W. Child, and Erastus Corning. Here also an Indiana century plant first display ed its yellow flowers, with others of its kind on exposition, all under the great dome, and in the adjoining conservatory, while France shows the rich masses of rhododendrons in which she takes a national pride,
A broad avenue passes around the miniature mountain, and along its outer edge New York and Pennsylvania again present their floral displays. In one corner is an elegant booth in which are plants, hanging baskets, cut flowers, and floral ornaments and designs—a con¬ tribution from the empire state. A few steps further is a collection of New Jersey snap-dragons, and other insect devouring plants.
In this locality is also a collection of plants from the executive mansion, at Washington, the most striking of which is the so-called crown of thorns.
Forming a portion of the New York display is a large model of the national capitol, constructed of Canadian thistles, and near this are several large beds of Pennsylvania cacti, one of them alone contain- ing three hundred varieties. Stepping into a small chamber in the form of a cave beneath the mountain, we find here a miniature reproduction of the famous Black Hills cave in South Dakota, with the stalactites and crystals which form the cathedral chimes, the bridal chamber, and other well known features, the stalactites and crystals which form the cathedral all represented with remarkable accuracy.
Entering the southern conservatory from the rotunda, we find ourselves in the midst of a profuse display of orchids and ferns, presented mainly by the New Jersey firm of Pitcher and Manda, whose exhibits are a prominent feature in the floricultural department. The orchid groups, which include private collections from Albany, Philadelphia, Jersey City, and other localities, are in truth one of the leading attractions of Horticultural hall, but as a considerable proportion of the 4,000 or 5,000 existing species, with all their varied forms, their brilliant hues, and delicate odors, is here on exposition, a detailed description would be obviously out of place.
Further to the south the women of Texas have their exhibit, those of Galveston contributing Cape jasmines and sweet bay trees, while Laredo sends a large bed of cacti, both of which attract many visitors to this section. Missouri’s display adjoins a grove of palms near the centre of the conservatory, and includes many rare and beautiful plants from the botanic gardens of St Louis. Here also Pennsylvania has another large exhibit; Massachusetts occupies a limited space, and other states have scattering contributions. In the Illinois display are fine specimens of the bay laurel, and Indiana has a flourishing group of begonias. In this conservatory of the states is also a bed of cacti representing the botanic gardens at the national capital.
The Horticulture Building from Southeast Corner
Corresponding to these exhibits south of the central court, is one in the northern section showing the floricultural collections of foreign lands. In the centre are the huge tree ferns from Australia, some of them forty feet high, with other plants of that species whose leaves are in many fanciful shapes. Here also are the staghorn ferns, from seven to eight feet in diameter, and as many in height, clinging to trunks of teak-wood trees, whose vitality has been exhausted in their embrace. At their feet are more delicate ferns with mosses, grasses, and many of the creepers which grow in profusion amid Australian forests. In the Canadian exhibit adjacent, Ontario has many vari¬ eties of palms and ferns, eighty in number, and most of them from the horticultural gardens at Toronto. Among the former, one of the most remarkable is known as the Sabal Anderson description. Of other trees and plants, including cacti, flowering shrubs, and ornamental leaf plants, there is also a large collection.
Further toward the north is the Japanese garden, arranged in the simple, artistic fashion for which that people is famous. A rustic bridge spans a small pond, filled with gold-fish, and fringed with water-lilies and ornamental plants. Near by are the quaintest of urns and vases, containing orchids and other floral treasures, with plants of all kinds, miniature hills, among which are clusters of sago-palms and models of animal life, with a rough stone wall covered with native evergreens, morning-glories, and creepers, and with colored sands arranged in geometrical figures, all forming a picture in which is substantially reproduced a portion of the Japanese imperial garden.
On the opposite side of the conservatory are beds of cacti from Mexico, arranged as single specimens or in conglomerate masses, and ranging in size from that of an apple to a bushel basket. Some appear like petrified porcupines, or spiny creatures of the deep; others are thin and starved, and still others seem as if they had lived upon the fat of the land.
This exhibit, as well as the other beds scattered throughout the department, is specially typical of America. One of the most prolific of the forty or fifty species is the elephant tooth cactus, bearing a flower like a rose or lilac, red or crimson fruit succeeding the blossoms. The fig cactus is similar in shape to the fruit from which it is named, its pale yellow flowers giving place to an edible product resembling the gooseberry, which serves as food for the cochineal insect, and at times for he inhabitants of Mexico and Central America.
Beyond the cacti bloom the cannas and begonias of Ireat Britain, and the azaleas of Belgium and Germany. EsHu iallv noticeable is the German display, neatly and artistically grouped around a central fountain. At the upper end of the conservatory, beyond the banners of Australia, and the white md red flags of Japan, are the tropical plants of Trinidad, and above her exhibit rests, on a large pedestal, the golden lion of Britain.
Between the main hall, the pavilions, and their connecting curtains, are two spacious courts, the one to the south occupied by large basins or tanks filled with aquatic plants. In the northern court is a vault-like pavilion, 189 by 135 feet, constructed of iron, and stocked with South German wines. The facade and roof are adorned with appropriate statuary, and the walls are covered with paintings illustrating various scenes in the wine producing districts of the German empire. The vine-clad banks of the Rhine and the Necker, the famous district of Moselle, the wine industries of Baden and Alsace-Lorraine, are all depicted in graphic art, while plaster casts and a sparkling array of wines in bottles complete this display from the fatherland. The historic monument of Germania and the Rhenish castle of Ehrenfels are reproduced, as models, in the entrance hall of this structure. The exhibits of wine are arranged according to locality, each specimen being labelled, and grouped with reference to the vineyard, village, or district where it was produced.
Apart from this the collection of wines is in the southern extremity of Horticultural hall, where Spain, France, and Germany, California, Australia, and other countries vie with each other in the quality and artistic grouping of their exhibits. Spanish ports and sherries, fashioned into pyramids, are displayed in a gaudy pavilion, or series of arched, open structures. Sometimes the towers are formed of solid bottles; again the base is made of casks and barrels, with rows of bottles let into their sides. Within these glistening piles are real sherry wines from the Xerez district, the strong, dark vintages of Valencia, and lighter, sweeter grades from the Spanish sierras, from whose vineyards also come the grapes which are made into Malaga raisins.
A large portion of the French collection consists of sparkling cham¬ pagnes, including a tastefully arranged exhibit from Rheims, its ancient home, and, with Epernay, still its most important centre. An immense bottle reaching nearly to the ceiling of the hall may be considered as a monument to the Benedictine monk, who, two cen¬ turies ago, gathered the wines from the districts surrounding Rheims, and by mixing them made the first champagne that history records. The white wines of the Sauterne and Gironde districts, the rosy Medocs, clarets, and Burgundies, and a dozen other brands appear in various devices, as contributions from exhibitors in Bordeaux, Marseilles, Paris, and Nancy. Cordials and mineral waters are also in plentiful supply, and models of machinery, as well as of vineyards in the famous districts of Medoc and Gironde, serve to break the monotony of endless rows of bottles. In photographs and charts are shown all the insects which injure the vine, and their mode of attacking it, the king of them all, the phylloxera, receiving the lion’s share of attention.
The German display in the southern section of the hall is a large and massive exhibit, of more general character than the one already mentioned. Worthy of note are the sweet, mellow wines of Rhenish Bavaria, the red wines of the Ahr, and the stronger products of vineyards planted on the banks of the Rhine; but most of the-principal wine-producing districts of the empire, with their output of nearly 100,000,000 gallons a year, are here represented. In this collection also is a large assortment of beers and brandies, of cider, temperance, and all other beverages that find favor in the fatherland.
Adjacent to this, and in the southwestern corner of the viticultural pavilion, is the display of California wines, by far the largest and most attractive of our domestic collections, its effect increased by the skilful grouping of the exhibits and the ingenious structure which contains them. A red cedar pavilion, 40 feet in height, is fashioned so as to resemble one of her giant trees, the main entrance having the appearance of an archway built of rocks, while around the trunk are various figures emblematic of viticulture. The goddess of the vine is crowned with a tiara of vines and grapes, and toward her an Indian girl is approaching with fruit-laden basket. A padre, with spade in hand, represents an early stage of the industry, and a huge grizzly bear is a character in Californian history which requires no introduction. From the gallery a staircase leads into the pavilion, so that the visitor may pass either from the ground or upper floor to the exhibits within.
Passing through the main doorway, we pause for a moment before a large panoramic view of the Golden Gate and the harbor of which it is the portal. Then turning to the exhibits, we notice first of all the collective display of several of the largest vintners and viticulturists, whose cellars in San Francisco and elsewhere contain larger stores of wine than those which Hannibal wasted, when, on his march toward Rome, lie bathed his horses’ feet in the choicest vintages of Italy. Of some of the vineyards, covering their thousands of acres, there are paintings by local artists, with tablets and appropriate mottoes. A favorite corner of the viticultural hall is in the shape of a redwood tank, garlanded with vines, and forming, with its contents, the exhibit of several large producers of Sonoma county, prominent among whom is an ItalianSwiss colony. In a separate structure are also represented the great vineyards and cellars of the late Leland Stanford, at Vina, in the Sacramento valley, its court opening through an arched entrance way into a spacious vault, lined on either side with barrels of huge proportions. In pictures are also reproduced these famous vineyards and wine cellars, to¬ gether with the bonded ware¬ house in which at times is stored $1,000,000 worth of brandy. From Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Alameda, and other counties there are smaller exhibits, all contributing of their best toward a combined display representing one of the foremost of Californian industries.
Not the least valuable exhibit is that of the State Viticultural commission, consisting of practical and reliable descriptions of viticulture as pursued in California. On either side of its space are growing vines, above which are photographs of grape clusters, showing the best varieties for the production of wines, brandies, and raisins. Famous vineyards are also de¬ pictured, and in a colored series of state and county maps are shown the areas planted in many varieties of grapes.
From a few hundred acres of vineyard planted by the padres and their neophytes during the pastoral days of California, the area under cultivation increased to nearly 200,000 acres in 1892, with more than 1 50,000,000 vines, yielding, in full maturity, an average of three or four tons to the acre, a ton of grapes producing about 120 gallons of wine. It is not of California have assumed any large proportions, or indeed that here were known either the art of producing marketable wines or the grapes best adapted to the purpose. As late as i860 the bulk of her wines was made of mission grapes, such as the Franciscan lathers transplanted from Mexico, and from which was extracted a light colored beverage, heavy, and rank of flavor. Later, many foreign varieties were introduced, largely through the efforts of the commission; and presently wine-making was based on scientific methods, and became a fairly profitable industry. I hen came over-production, for as yet the demand was only for local consumption ; but gradually California wines gained a foothold in eastern and European countries, especially in France, where they are doctored and often returned in adulterated forms, to be sold under foreign labels at from three to five-fold their original cost. In 1881 more than 3,000.000 gallons were shipped to the Atlantic states; in 1890 more than 12,000,000 gallons were forwarded by rail or sea. and of the present output, averaging some 20,000,000 gallons a year of wine and 1,500.000 of brandy, or more than one half the entire yield of the Fnited States, at least 70 per cent is shipped to eastern and foreign markets.
Aside from California, the most elaborate of domestic collections are from New York, Ohio, and Missouri. The dry wines, champagnes, and brandies of the empire state are especially noticeable; exhibitors from Ohio and the region bordering on Lake Erie group their specimens in and around an elaborate column of bottles, and two of the most prominent wine companies of Missouri show their samples in neat and tasteful pavilions. New Jersey is also well represented, and among her participants is one of the oldest of German wine makers in the Fnited States. From Manassas, Virginia, comes a specimen of her vintages, and there is wine from a vineyard planted on the battle-field of Bull Run.
Near the French section are towers and pyramids of bottles filled with the red and white wines of New South Wales. Photographs of her vineyards show that they are large and thrifty; and here also the information is conveyed that among tin; more important of native red wines are Burgundy, claret, and hermitage; of sweet wines, Muscat, port, and sherry; of white wines, hock, Madeira-dry, Shiraz, and Tokay. Australian vintages, it may here be observed, are gradually finding favor in European markets, with exports to England alone of 200,000 or 300,000 gallons a year. Already the tentative stage has been passed, and many varieties will bear comparison with the lighter wines of French production, while for domestic use they have almost superseded imported brands.
Across the aisle from the exhibit of New South Wales are the light wines of Austria-Hungary; and here also Russia displays the products of her Caspian and Caucasian vineyards. In a far corner of the hall are the wines of New Mexico, North Carolina, and Japan, in small but tasteful groups. On the pavilion of North Carolina is an inscription which claims that her territory is the home of the grape ; thus recalling the stories told by the discoverers of the Atlantic coast as to the profusion of wild grapes along Carolina shores. The Japanese booth has corner posts of bamboo poles, and above it is the national flag, whose device is a red ball upon a white background. The names upon the bottles are strange, and we wonder, for instance, what such a wine as selijyunbudosyu can be, hoping that the beverage is more palatable than its name suggests.
In the gallery of the viticultural section are the government exhibits of Italy, Greece, and Portugal, with miscellaneous assortments from France and Spain. The latter include the cordials of a Spanish manufacturer, of which, it is said, the Infanta loves to partake. On the opposite side of the gallery is the Portuguese col¬ lection, contained in a pavilion of which one of the arches spans the stairway leading to the upper floor. Vines are trellised over the wood-work, and the national flag and royal coat of arms are grouped over the principal arch. Within are said to be the genuine wines of the Oporto district. Italy occupies the western end of the viticultural gallery, her exhibit consisting mainly of ornamental structures, composed of casks and bottles, the centre-piece resembling a large flowering bush. Near the base of the structures are main large diplomas presented to Italian wine-makers at former expositions. Of the wines themselves the choio st are those from vineyards planted on the seaward slopes of Mount Vesuvius. The wines and brandies of Greece are displayed in a white pavilion, the roof of which is supported by Corinthian pillars, and at the further end of this gallery are exhibits of California raisins, one in the form of a pyramid of glass cases from Escondido.
The pomological exhibits are mainly grouped along the curtains of Horticultural hall, and largely consist of the green products of the United States, and other lands. Shipping their fruits in compartments cooked by refrigeration, such distant regions as the Cape and Australian colonies forwarded their more highly species in fresh condition, while grapes and orchard fruits of the season of 1892 were preserved in cold storage for exhibition, not only in our own but in foreign countries. Thus France has sent us several hundred varieties of deciduous fruits, her display of pears being the largest, and one of the best on exposition. Russia has forwarded a collection gathered from everv region of the empire, even from the frozen plains of Siberia, while from the tropics came varieties that could not elsewhere be seen. From northern Africa came a consignment, and New South Wales installed the first shipment of fresh fruit sent from Australia to the United States.
About the middle of March several barrels of apples, a bushel of pears, and a crate of grapes were placed on board a sailing vessel bound from Melbourne to San Fran¬ cisco, and then forwarded by rail to Chicago, where they were installed in good condition. Other shipments of fruit were made from Australia under more favorable conditions; and by Atlantic steamers, with their cold-storage compartments, oranges, lemons, figs, and other fruits were brought from Naples and elsewhere in southern Europe. Thus the pomological department at Jackson park represents the conditions and products of the principal fruit-growing regions of the world. Several countries which could not furnish a complete exhibit substituted wax and plaster models, Germany excelling all others in this respect, with imitations so perfect that it is almost impossible to detect them. In drawings and paintings are also placed before the visitor the native fruits of several lands.
Photo by C. D. Arnold
Picturesque World’s Fair, An Elaborate Collection of Colored Views—
Published with the Endorsement and Approval of George R. Davis
Horticulture Building From the Wooded Island