BALLOON OR BIRDSEYE VIEW.
WONDERFULLY beautiful is the picture presented by the Birdseye View of the Exposition Grounds and Buildings. Whether from the dome of the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING or from a captive balloon, the visitor will be amply repaid in looking down upon this magnificent array of graceful and imposing edifices and vast expanse of Park. Spread out beneath him lie more than 600 acres fronting on Lake Michigan—one of the grandest of inland seas—and containing scores of great structures which embody the best conceptions of America's greatest architects.
In the northern portion of the ground he may see a picturesque group of buildings, forty or fifty of them, constituting a veritable village of palaces. Here on a hundred acres or more, beautifully laid out, stand the buildings of Foreign Nations and of a number of states of the Union, surrounded by lawns, walks and beds of flowers and shrubbery. These are ranged on wide curving avenues and constitute one of the most interesting portions of the entire Exposition. In the western part of the group stands the Illinois Building severely classic in style, with a dome in the center and a great porch facing southward. In this portion of the Park, too, stands the FINE ARTS BUILDING, a magnificent palace costing half a million. Just south of the FOREIGN and STATE buildings may be observed a considerable expanse of the Lagoon with inlet to the Lake, and encompassing three islands. On the largest one stands the UNITED STATES FISHERIES BUILDING, flanked at each end by a curved arcade, connecting it with two polygonal pavilions in which aquaria and the tackle exhibit are displayed. A little farther south, across an area of the lagoon, is the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BUILDING. On the Lake shore east of its building, and in part in the intervening space, the Government shows a gun battery, lifesaving station complete with apparatus, a lighthouse, war balloon, and a full size model of a $3,000,000 BATTLESHIP of the first class
To the southward of the GOVERNMENT BUILDING stands the largest of the Exposition structures, that of MANUFACTURES AND LIBERAL ARTS. Surrounding this on all sides is a porch two stories in height, affording a delightful promenade and a view of the grounds and buildings generally.
A little farther south extending 1,000 feet into the Lake is the PIER, which affords a landing place for the Lake steamers, and encloses a harbor. This harbor is bounded on the east far out in the Lake by the beautiful facade of the CASINO, in whose free space crowds of men and women, protected by ceiling of gay awnings, look east to the Lake and west to the long vista between the main edifices as far as the gilded dome of the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. The first notable object in this vista is the colossal Statue of Liberty rising out of the Lagoon, at the point where it enters the land, protected by moles which carry sculptured columns emblematic of the Thirteen Original States of the Union. Beyond this lies a broad basin from which grassy terraces and broad walks lead on the north and to the south elevation of the enormous MAIN BUILDING, and on the south to the structures dedicated to Agriculture, Live Stock, Forestry and the Dairy Industry.
From the PIER extending westward across the Park, is a long avenue or court, several hundred feet wide, affording a view of almost unparalleled splendor. All down this Grand Avenue, encompassing a beautiful sheet of water, stand imposing buildings along the majestic facades of which sweeps the gaze of the visitor until it rests on the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING nearly a mile distant. West of the AGRICULTURAL BUILDING stands MACHINERY HALL, which is equal in size and is especially rich in architectural lines and details.
To the northward of the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING on either side and facing the Grand Avenue stand two more immense buildings, one for the Electrical and the other for the Mining Exhibit.
Near by is the Wooded Island—a delightful gem of primitive nature, in striking contrast with the elaborate productions of human skill which surround it.
In the southwestern portion of the grounds the spectator observes the great depots, the numerous railway tracks and the rapid coming and going of the trains taking visitors to and from the Grounds. To the northward is the great TRANSPORTATION BUILDING, and still farther on stands the HORTICULTURAL BUILDING, which is one of the most beautiful of the many beautiful edifices. Farther north still is the WOMAN'S BUILDING, and to the westward of it are the Bazaars of all Nations and a various collection of structures and attractions of a semi-private character, all interesting to the visitor.