THE TRANSPORTATION BUILDING.
FORMING the Northern or Picturesque Quadrangle is a group of buildings of which the TRANSPORTATION BUILDING is one. It is situated at the southern end of the west flank and lies between the HORTICULTURAL and the MINES BUILDINGS. Its axial relation is with the MANUFACTURES BUILDING on the east side of the Quadrangle, the central feature of each of the two buildings being on the same east and west line.
The TRANSPORTATION BUILDING is exquisitely refined and simple in architectural treatment, although it is very rich and elaborate in detail. In style it savors much of the Romanesque, although to the initiated the manner in which it is designed on axial lines and the solicitude shown for fine proportions, and subtle relation of parts to each other, will at once suggest the methods of composition followed at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Viewed from the Lagoon, the cupola of the TRANSPORTATION BUILDING will form the effective southwest accent of the Quadrangle, while from the cupola itself, reached by eight elevators, the Northern Court, the most beautiful effect of the entire Exposition, may be seen in all its glory.
The main entrance to the TRANSPORTATION BUILDING will consist of an immense single-arch enriched to an extraordinary degree with carvings, bas-reliefs and mural paintings, the entire feature forming a rich and beautiful yet quiet color climax, for it is treated in leaf and is called the golden door.
The remainder of the architectural composition falls into a just relation of contrast with the highly wrought entrance, and is duly quiet and modest though very broad in treatment. It consists of a continuous arcade with subordinated colonnade and entablature. Numerous minor entrances are from time to time pierced in the walls, and with them are grouped terraces, seats, drinking fountains and statues.
The interior of the building is treated much after the manner of a Roman Basilica, with broad nave and aisles. The roof is therefore in three divisions; the middle one rises much higher than the others, and its walls are pierced to form a beautiful arcaded clearstory. The cupola, placed exactly in the center of the building and rising 165 feet above the ground, is reached by eight elevators. These elevators will of themselves naturally form a part of the Transportation Exhibit, and as they will also carry passengers to galleries at various stages of height, a fine view of the interior of the building may easily be obtained. The main galleries of this building, because of the abundant placing of passenger elevators, will prove quite accessible to visitors.
The main building of the TRANSPORTATION EXHIBIT measures 960 feet front by 256 feet deep; from this will extend westward to Stony Island avenue, a triangular Annex covering about nine acres, and consisting of one story buildings 64 feet wide, set side by side. There will be a railway track every 16 feet and all these tracks will run east and west. These Annex buildings may be used to exhibit an entire freight or passenger train coupled up with its engine. It is likely that the display of locomotive engines will be quite stupendous, for they will all be placed end on to the central avenue or nave of the main building. As there will probably be at least 100 engines exhibited, and placed so as to face each other, the perspective effect of the main avenue will be remarkably effective. Add to the effect of the exhibits the architectural impression given by a long vista of richly ornamented colonnade, and it may easily be imagined that the interior of the TRANSPORTATION BUILDING will be one of the most impressive of the Exposition.
The exhibits to be placed in the building will naturally include everything of whatsoever name or sort devoted to the purpose of Transportation, and will range from a baby carriage to a mogul engine, from a cash conveyor to a balloon or carrier pigeon. Technically, this exhibit will include everything comprised in Class G of the Official Classification.
To assist in the placing of exhibits, a transfer railway with 75 foot tables will run the entire length of the structure and immediately west of the main building.