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Precedents & Planning

European Precedents

European examples of broad public squares and avenues surrounded by buildings in a coordinated architectural style provided the inspiration and guide for the Cleveland Mall and Group Plan of Public Buildings. These photographs are from "Sights and Scenes of the World", 1894, Conkey Publishing, Chicago.

Paris Expositions

French Beaux-Arts architectural style and sensibilities gained popularity and influence throughout the 19th century, culminating in examples like these expositions in Paris and in buildings such as the Paris Opera House designed by Charles Garnier and the Library of Congress designed by Smithmeyer and Pelz. Many leading architects of the late 19th century had studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris or under one of its many graduates and brought French architectural and planning principles to their work.

World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, Chicago, IL

The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a remarkable example of cooperation among governmental, business and architectural and artistic leaders. Daniel Burnham was the architect primarily responsible for bringing the fair to reality and in marshalling the architectural and artistic communities to produce a coordinated design. The fair illustrated to millions of Americans an architectural aesthetic ideal and set the stage for city planning efforts across the country.

Most of the images shown here are from "Photographs of the World's Columbian Exposition", 1893, by the Werner Company, Chicago.

For more information on the Chicago World's fair of 1893 follow this link:

Pan American and Louisiana Purchase Expositions

The Pan-American Exposition of 1901 at Buffalo and The Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 at St. Louis attempted to exceed the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 in aesthetic development and in the case of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, its size. Their sculptural programs were both coordinated by Karl Bitter who had provided the decorative sculptural program for Hunt's Administration Building at Chicago and who rallied the artistic cooperation of America's sculptors for these two expositions. At Buffalo, the program revealed the development of energy and activity in the Western Hemisphere, at St. Louis, the sculptural program of over 500 separate works depicted the opening of the west.

For more information on the Pan American Exposition of 1901 at Buffalo, follow this link:

For more information on the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 at St. Louis, follow this link: