Germany - Expo Chicago 1893

Germany at the Exhibition Expo Chicago 1893
Architect(s) : Johannes Radke

The German Building occupies a commanding position, on the Lake Shore, southeast of Ceylon. It is the handsomest and most expensive of all the foreign edifices. The plans were drawn by Johannes Radke, of Berlin, the architect for the German Government. It is seventy-eight feet in height, and is crowned with a tower which extends 150 feet into the air. In the belfry are hung three huge bells of steel. The building is a combination of several styles, and though thus contrasting in its parts is not lacking in harmony. The centre is in the form of a chapel, rich in decoration. Bay windows, projecting balconies and turrets lend it a most picturesque appearance, closely resembling an old German city-hall, such as may be seen even now in some of the ancient towns of the empire. The steep roof is covered with shining glazed tiles imported from Germany. The roof corners, water spouts, etc., down to the large lantern in front of the tower, are of brass and bronze, but the interior of the building is even finer than the exterior. After passing through the magnificently decorated reception rotunda, to the left of which is the grand reception-room, and the office of the imperial German commissioner, privy counsellor Adolf Wermuth, the second hall is reached. This, in fact, is a separate wing some forty feet in height and divided by an arched passage. 1 he pillars everywhere are heavy, short and solid throughout, and the arches are semicircular, the style being early German renaissance. Balconies rise in tiers on all four sides of this vast interior space, the heavy timber and castings used in their construction being richly painted and decorated. The construction of this involved an expenditure of $250,000. Besides being the central point for German interests represented at the Fair, there are also many exhibits of importance here included. The German publishers make a comprehensive general exhibit of their wares; the art of printing being, above all, well illustrated by a large assortment of magnificently bound volumes of every kind, especially rare scientific works. The second large collective exhibit is placed in the chapel, and is one of modern church art. There are very fine stained and painted windows, magnificent church vestments, costly and artistic vessels for sacred use, handsome illuminated missals and prayer books and Bibles, and, finally, a collection of statues, crucifixes, etc. The tiles of the roof, the antique furniture, the wooden ceilings, and the handsome carpets and rugs throughout the building are all contributed by German manufacturers as exhibits.

©The World's Columbian Exposition 1893