The History of World Expositions

The Saint Louis World Exposition 1904
Arrangement of space and transport


Year: 1904
City: St. Louis
Country: USA
Duration: 30th April - 1st December 1904
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Copyright: Lewald 1904, S. nach S. 172
Site

On 25 June 1901 it had been decided to set up the exposition ten kilometres to the west of the border of the city of St. Louis in Forest Park. With the exception of the eastern part facing the city and a western section of the natural park, the site was prepared by mercilessly clearing away old trees so that the building work could begin. Trees were chopped down, whole areas were levelled by fire clearing and the remaining tree stumps were blown up with dynamite. A natural lake was laid dry so that it could be transformed into an artificial pond. A hill was removed with steam-operated excavators and the bed of the river Des Peres was shifted, reduced in size and partly overbuilt. The building site which was thus created finally covered an area of more than 500 hectares and its expansion was consequently greater than that of previous expositions such as Chicago in 1893 with 256 hectares and Paris in 1900 with 136 hectares. According to the draft of the chief architect, Isaac Taylor, the site was broken down into five areas with various points of emphasis in terms of themes and architecture. The largest area was in the north-west where the big exhibition palaces were located. Their strict arrangement resembled the form of a fan. To the south of this was the Department of the American States on the states plateau. The buildings of the foreign nations were located in the north-easterly part of the site, as was the stadium. To the south of this was the department of agriculture and horticulture. The area devoted to pleasure the Pike - was at the front, in the northern part of the site.
The site could be easily reached by rail. The station was in the direct proximity of the Lindell Entrance the main entrance to the exposition. From here, there were buses providing a connection to the other entrances. Inside the exposition the visitors covered the large expanses using the Intramural Railway, an elevated electric railroad, which drove around the entire site in a large arc. Between the individual buildings, in as far as these were connected by main streets with tar surfaces, there were coaches or cars available for transport. As bicycles were not permitted on the site, people had to make do with wheelchairs in the less accessible parts and inside the palaces.



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