U.S. Government Buildings Design


The federal government building occupied the entire eastern Esplanade of the Exposition grounds, balancing the Horticulture/Mines/Graphic Arts buildings on the western Esplanade. The government invested $500,000 in its exhibit, $200,000 of which went into the building construction. The architectural responsibilities were assigned to the supervising architect of the Treasury Department, whose superintendent,Wallace H. Hills, was responsible for the entire government exhibit. The main building (with the rotunda) was 418 feet by 130 feet, connected by colonnades to two annexes, each 100 square feet. The total exhibition space was 75,000 square feet. The central dome was 250 high and topped by a 20-foot statue of 'victory'. (During construction, a worker was killed in January falling from this dome.)

The design of the complex is Spanish. The overall color scheme had the walls a pale yellow, roofs in the red tile, and domes of blue. Otherwise the structure was not decorated in the complex manner seen on other Exposition buildings. The walls were covered with green and maroon burlaps.

Represented in the complex below were exhibits by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of State, War Department, Treasury Department, Department of Justice, Post Office Department, Navy Department, Department of the Interior, Smithsonian Institution and National Museum, Fish and Fisheries Department, Department of Labor, Bureau of American Republics, Philippine Islands Exhibit. Just north of the main building was a outdoor ordance exhibit (not to be confused with the other exhibition of munitions in the Ordnance Buildings). And the U.S. Lifesaving Service was installed in its own building along the shore of the Park Lake, where the crew provided daily lifesaving demonstrations.

In the illustration below are links to each of the exhibits; click on the title to read the descriptions from the Rand McNally "Hand-Book to the Pan-American Exposition." There are more articles about specific exhibits in the "What People Said" section.

To view a detailed architectural plan of the U.S. Government exhibit, go here.