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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

The Plaza1

BY WALTER COOK , of Babb, Cook & Willard

THE square to which the name of the Plaza has been given is a nearly isolated unit of the general composition, being situated at its extreme north end, on a somewhat lower level than the parts immediately touching it. For this reason, and on account of the very intimate connection between the buildings and the square which they surround, the entire treatment of both buildings and grounds was put in the same hands- the one exception to the general rule which prevailed elsewhere. The Electrical Tower of Mr. Howard, which dominates, and was meant to dominate, the whole scheme, terminates the Plaza on the south side. The other buildings have purposely been kept somewhat smaller in scale and less monumental in character, in order to give to the tower its full value. And as the tower on the southside faces the Court of Fountains, in which water is the great feature, the Plaza itself has been treated without basins or fountains, in order to secure a contrast of treatment. The middle of the square is occupied by a Sunken Garden, surrounded by a double balustrade inclosing a terrace from which steps descend to the garden itself, the center of which is occupied by a band-stand. The four corners of the terrace are occupied by pavilions, which are intended to be let to concessionaires. The whole is intended to form a resting-place for visitors out of the direct line of communication.


1. Text quoted directly from the Art Hand-Book, Official Handbook of Architecture and Sculpture and Art Catalogue to the Pan-American Exposition. Ed. David Gray. Buffalo, N.Y.: David Gray, 1901. Sources of the images are noted with each.