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Education in Pennsylvania -

Education in Pennsylvania at the Exhibition Expo Philadelphia 1876

Octagonal in form of the main walls, lantern, and cupola, the severe mathematical character of the ground plan of the Pennsylvania Educational Building is broken by annexes on the north and south of one story in height, which serve useful purposes and make the appearance of the building more pleasing than it would be if the strict form were adhered to.

In diameter this structure is one hundred feet. The annexes measure 19x44 feet. The walls of the main building rise some distance above the foundation, from which the windows extend to the cornice and throw light into the interior from all sides. The central hall is similarly illuminated by the lantern, and a cupola of good taste in proportion and appearance surmounts the whole. The plan of the building provides good ventilation by adjustable sashes, and the interior is bright and attractive. The exterior is carefully painted in colours that harmoniously match even in their contrasts. The building is located north of the Transport Palace, east of Belmont Avenue, near Lansdowne Drive, and is not far from the Swedish School.

The difference between the two is that while the foreign structure shows how Swedish children are housed at present, the Pennsylvania building gives no idea of the shape or appearance of the Pennsylvania school. It is an exhibition room in which, as in the foreign example, the mode of teaching is shown in the subjects to be examined, but the display lacks the practicality that is attached to the idea of a temple of primary education.

Everything related to the general education plans is here correctly shown. The path of knowledge can be followed from the alphabetical map and the start by the stations where spelling books, grammars, geographies and arithmetic treatises are placed, to the stopping points of history, language, science and art.

From kindergarten to college, the whole course can be traced, and in all practical necessities the collection is complete. There are maps, drawings, illustrations, and all the appliances of the school, which are arranged with systematic regularity, so that all who are disposed to study this most interesting subject will find the method easy. The erection of this building is due to the efforts of the Pennsylvania Teachers 'Institute and the great interest and earnestness of Professor J. B. Wickersham, Director of Education of the State of Pennsylvania.

The Legislature gave $15,000 towards the cost of the building; the Teachers' Institute subscribed $5,000. The latter provided a room at the west end of the building at a cost of over $1,000 for meetings and a general reception room for visitors. The builders were Peters & Burger of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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