The Women's Centenary Committee has done a noble job in helping the great exhibition.
A very large sum of money was raised through the efforts of this committee and invested in the actions of the Finance Council. After several months of work in this direction, the interested ladies wanted special means to exhibit women's work in a way that would showcase industry, taste, manufacturing and artistic skills. For obvious reasons, this could not be done in the general exhibition buildings in order to separate the work of women from that of men. It was therefore decided by the Women's Centenary Committee to raise a special fund for a building which should in no way interfere with the contributions to the main exhibition object. Liberal responses were given to this proposal, and a quite sufficient amount for this purpose was obtained without much difficulty.
The Women's Pavilion is situated on the east side of Belmont Avenue, opposite the United States Government Building. It consists of two intersecting aisles, each 64 x 192 feet. At the end of each of these aisles is an 8 x 32 foot porch. The corners formed by the two aisles are filled by four pavilions, each 48 feet square.
The centre of the building is raised 25 feet higher than the rest of the building, and is surmounted by an observatory with a dome on top, 90 feet above the ground. The material is wood.
The interior is very attractive. Four columns supporting the dome are the only loads that can obstruct the view. The roof is mainly supported by trusses resting on the outer walls. The walls are painted in a light colour, carefully panelled with blue on the ceilings. The panels on the side walls are decorated with allegorical groups of faith, hope, charity, art, work, education and the family, after drawings by Camille Pitou.
The pavilion covers an area of 30,000 square feet.
The architect of this fine building was H. J. Schwarzmann; builders, Jacob G. Peters and John D. Burger, of Lancaster, Pa.
©Centennial portfolio: a souvenir of the international exhibition at Philadelphia - 1876