The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
single exhibit building size. Qualitative success was, and still is, some-
what harder to measure. The consensus of opinion was that the Philadel-
phia Fair did not artistically measure up to its European counterparts.2
When Chicago won the competition to host the World's Columbian Ex-
position seventeen years later, American pride demanded that it be the
greatest fair ever.
Jackson Park on Chicago's south side was designated as the site for the
Fair. The north end of the fairgrounds was reserved for pavilions repre-
senting states and territories of the Union. This gathering was envi-
sioned as a "diminutive United States" where foreign and domestic
visitors would have a rare opportunity to view and compare the assets,
resources, customs, and residents of the participating states. Therefore,
the state building grounds offered more valuable information to individ-
uals and commercial concerns interested in relocation than could the
industry-oriented Court of Honor.2 In December 1890, between five
hundred and six hundred delegates from throughout Texas convened
in Houston to discuss the need to have the state represented at this
event. They recognized "the advantages of the Exposition to the state of
Texas in directing attention to the vast resources and wonderful diversity
of soil, climate and production and the unequaled opportunities" of-
fered by the state. Considering the economic advantages that would re-
sult, the group recommended that the state legislature appropriate
$1,ooo,ooo to defray the expenses of mounting a Texas exhibit "atm-
mensurate with her capacity." The Texas World's Fair Exhibit Associa-
tion was formed and set to the task of raising funds and organizing
Although fundraising lagged behind expectations, it was necessary to
proceed with other plans in order to stay on schedule. By the following
July, the association managed to secure a lot on the fairgrounds being
developed in Jackson Park. It was the third-largest parcel on the state
building grounds and ideally located next to the Fair's primary north
entrance. The ambitious Texas group planned to erect one of the
largest state exhibit structures on the site.5 Representatives of the associ-
ation engaged in extensive correspondence with seventy-five architects
2 R. Reid Badger, The Great American Fazr: The World's Columbzan Exposition and American Culture
(Chicago: Nelson Hall, 1979), 20.
M. A. Lane, "State Buildings at the Fair," Harper's Weekly, XXXVI (Aug. 20o, 1892), 813.
' Galveston Daily News, Dec. 11, 1890o; La GrangeJournal, Dec. 1o, 189o (quotations).
La Grange Journal, July 16, 1891. The entrance was on the north side of the park, the direc-
tion from which most of the foot and carriage traffic approached. A greater volume of visitors
was expected to arrive by rail, passing through the terminal to the west of the Court of Honor.
The lots designated for Illinois and Cahfornia were larger.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/30/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.