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Illinois at the Exhibition Expo Philadelphia 1876
Architect(s) : Wheelock & Thomas
Illinois at the Exhibition Expo Philadelphia 1876
Architect(s) : Wheelock & Thomas

The Illinois State Building, in the style of a gothic villa, is bright, cheerful, and attractive, drawing the attention of those who walk along State Avenue.

It is located immediately west of the Indiana State Building, with Wisconsin as a neighbour on the other side.

The house is two stories high and irregularly shaped, with two gables at the front, the central one being lower than the end one.

On the east and west sides are two gables; a tower and a small spire, hexagonal in shape above the second floor, is a feature of the southeast corner.

The east and west sides are provided with bay windows. A piazza extends around the east and south sides of the house. It is wide and comfortable, offering pleasant shade, the benefit of the breeze and a beautiful view of the exhibition buildings.

The main entrance door opens into a reception room that spans the width of the building.

The floor is laid in oak and walnut marquetry. The walls are half panelled in hardwood. At the western end is a beautiful mantle of opaque marble of a peculiar colour, resembling a leaden colour or a grey mixed with white. The ornamentation of this elegant Illinois stone piece is in black and white marble. The Romanesque appearance of the fireplace mantel draws the admiration of every visitor.

From the main reception room, the beautifully furnished ladies' room opens to the west and is connected to a drawing room.

The gentlemen's lounge and reading room are to the east.

From the centre of the main reception room, a vaulted passageway leads to the staircase to the upper rooms. In this part of the building there are four flats for the Commission.

The secretariat is located to the east of the reception room, set up for this purpose. Everything connected with this structure is comfortable, and the people of Illinois as well as those of other states are welcome.

The size of the pavilion is 40 x 60 feet. The architects were Wheelock & Thomas, of Chicago; the builder, Jonathan Clark, of the same city.

The timbers were all prepared in Illinois and transported to the exhibition.

©Centennial portfolio: a souvenir of the international exhibition at Philadelphia - 1876