I was looking at history in Buffalo and ran across some fabulous pictures that I have to share. The amount of attention to detail, energy, and extravagance of this era shows the can-do attitude of those days. It is amazing such interesting structures could be made for such a temporary period, just to be torn down. Investment for the Expo was stated at $7 million in 1900 dollars, which is nearly $200 billion in today's dollars. Only one of the buildings was designed to be permanent, and still stands today as the Erie County Historical Society building.
So without further adieu, here is the Expo of 1901. Highlights of the event include the assassination of President William McKinley during September in the Temple of Music. The Expo featured the 391 feet Electric Tower. It was the showcase piece of the Expo, featuring a large waterfall at its base and electric beams coming from the top to illuminate the Expo grounds. Electricity was a relatively new concept in these days, and it could be generated freely and abundantly at Niagara Falls. Tesla created the AC transmission system from the Falls to Buffalo for the event and eventually the city, which was among the first electrified cities in America.
Here is a guide to the buildings:
Here is a map of the grounds, located in Delaware Park designed by Olmstead:
Here is a video of the Electric Tower:
• Video Link
Here is a view of the ornate towers including the Electric Tower:
Here is the Temple of Music, could hold 2,000 people for events. It is also the location of the assassination of President William McKinley:
Here is a more crisp photo showing the Temple of Music on the right, and the Horiculture building on the left:
One of the only permanent structures left, still standing today, the New York State Building (now the Erie County Historical Society and Museum):
While not connected to the Expo, here is a building that still exists from the same era. This was the Insane Asylum, now a building on the campus of Buffalo State College. It is located right beside the park in the vicinity.
The US Government Building:
A higher resolution photo, with the Ethnology building and surrounding area:
Mostly just wanted to show what we were capable of in the past. Such a magnificent set of buildings to be designed only for 1 season (May-September 1901). Buffalo at this point was the 8th largest American city and had a lot more sway, but it is still amazing to see what effort went into building these temporary structures. I don't know if we'd be capable of this in the modern era.