THE AGRICULTURAL BUILDING.
ONE of the most magnificent structures raised for the Exposition is the AGRICULTURAL BUILDING, of which McKIM, MEADE & WHITE, of New York, are the architects. The style of architecture is classic renaissance. This building is put up very near the shore of Lake Michigan, and is almost surrounded by the Lagoons that lead into the Park from the Lake. The building is 500 x 800 feet, its longest dimensions being east and west. The north line of the building is almost on a line with the PIER extending into the Lake, on which heroic columns, emblematic of the Thirteen Original States, are raised. A Lagoon stretches out along this entire front of the building. The east front looks out into a harbor which affords refuge for numerous pleasure craft. The entire west exposure of the building faces a continuation of the Lagoon that extends along the north side. With these picturesque surroundings as an inspiration the architects have brought out designs that have been pronounced all but faultless. For a single story building the design is bold and heroic. The general cornice line is 65 feet above grade. On either side of the main entrance are mammoth Corinthian pillars, 50 feet high and 5 feet in diameter. On each corner and from the center of the building pavilions are reared, the center one being 144 feet square. The corner pavilions are connected by curtains, forming a continuous arcade around the top of the building. The main entrance leads through an opening 64 feet wide into a vestibule, from which entrance is had to the rotunda, 100 feet in diameter. This is surmounted by a mammoth glass dome, 130 feet high. All through the main vestibule statuary has been designed illustrative of the Agricultural industry. Similar designs are grouped about all of the grand entrances in the most elaborate manner. The corner pavilions are surmounted by domes 96 feet high, and above these tower groups of statuary. The design for these domes is that of three women, of herculean proportions, supporting a mammoth globe.
The AGRICULTURAL BUILDING covers more than nine acres, and together with the DAIRY and FORESTRY BUILDINGS, which cover 1.7 and 4.5 acres respectively, cost about $1,000,000.
To the southward of the AGRICULTURAL BUILDING is a spacious structure devoted chiefly to a Live Stock and Agricultural Assembly Hall. This building is conveniently near one of the stations of the elevated railway. It is a very handsome building and will undoubtedly be the common meeting point for all persons interested in live stock and agricultural pursuits. On the first floor, near the main entrance of the building, is located a Bureau of Information, in charge of attendants, who furnish visitors with all necessary information in regard to the Assembly Hall and the main Agricultural Building as well as other features of the Exposition. This floor also contains suitable committee and other rooms for the different live stock associations of every character, where such associations can meet and have their secretaries in constant attendance, thus affording this important industry ample headquarters near the Live Stock Exhibit and the Agricultural Building. On this floor there are also large and handsomely equipped waiting-rooms for ladies, lounging-rooms for gentlemen and ample toilet facilities. Broad stairways lead from the first floor into the Assembly-room, which has a seating capacity of about 1,500. This Assembly-room furnishes facilities for lectures delivered by gentlemen eminent in their special fields of work, embracing every interest connected with Live Stock, Agriculture and allied industries.
Taken in connection with the exhibits, this feature makes that part of the Exposition devoted to Live Stock, Agriculture and the Dairy a complete showing of the most advanced progress in these branches of industry. In the Assembly-room the most approved theories will be advanced and explained. On the grounds and in the AGRICULTURAL and DAIRY BUILDINGS will be the best illustrations of what can be accomplished when these theories are put into practice.
The entire second floor of the Assembly Hall is given up to committee rooms and rooms for headquarters for each and all of the different farmers' organizations in existence in this country.
Such a building was never erected at any Exposition and its construction here shows that the Board of Directors purposed affording every desirable facility that they could furnish to aid the great Live Stock and Agricultural interests.