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Administration building - Expo Chicago 1933

Administration building at the Exhibition Expo Chicago 1933
© Kaufmann & Fabry Co

The first of the great Chicago World's Fair buildings to be erected, the administrative offices combine utility with high decorative ceilings, tall windows, warm colours and elaborate lighting. Located just inside the main entrance to Grant Park, the building mirrors the shape of the structure, almost in its entirety, that was erected on May 9, 1930.

In this E-shaped building, the three wings on the open side towards the lagoon and the closed side parallel to Leif Eriksen Drive, experiments with unusual lighting and colour effects that are installed in the patterns.

"Science", symbolised by the wheel of the zodiac at its base, "Industry", by wheels and gears, have been modelled in plaster and covered with aluminium foil to form two Herculean figures that dominate the entrance to the building. The interior is a large room with the world's largest photo-painting, which depicts a view of the exhibition, on its eastern wall.

A wide door opposite the entrance leads to a corridor which connects the wings of the building and a wide staircase leading to the foyer of the Trustees' Hall in which plans were drawn up to make "A Century of Progress" the crystallisation of a modern creative spirit through the use of new materials and design ideas.

The room is beautiful in its modern simplicity, especially at night, when its brown walls take on a golden appearance under the warm orange-red lights. A high window at the east end of the room gives a view of the lagoon, Lake Michigan and Northerly Island.

The building itself is an experiment that points to possible trends in office and factory construction. The management unit will be the permanent home for the South Park Council after the Expo, when the Expo doors close in the fall.

©Official Guide Book 1933-1934