America is the land of improvisations. Among these improvisations, the most astonishing are perhaps the gigantic cities that have sprung up in one day. It was natural that the organisers of the Great Fair wanted to introduce us to the processes and methods that facilitated and directed this fabulous blossoming.
How? by making a "model city" emerge before our eyes, for our pleasure and
our education, a "model city".
The model city or Municipal Street, which is opposite the main entrance to the Exhibition, is the first curiosity that the visitor encounters.
It is an avenue of 1,200 metres, lined with various constructions which meet, or are supposed to meet, all the requirements of hygiene and aesthetics: model restaurants; model nurseries and nursery schools; model hospitals; model squares, plantations, pavements, model fountains: everything is of a didactic nature in this undertaking which is the joint work of the Exhibition Committee - which allocated an initial credit of 50,000 dollars - and the twenty-five municipalities. Everything has a didactic character in this undertaking, which is the joint work of the Exhibition Committee - which allocated an initial credit of 50,000 dollars - and the twenty-five largest towns in the Union, which, responding to the appeal of the organisers, presented us with a summary of the progress made by each of them in their own territory in the complex art of building a town!
The essentially municipal work does the greatest honour to the spirit of initiative of the great cities of the new world. - The authors of this highly commendable crusade against the scourges that beset city dwellers have perhaps forgotten only one: boredom...
©Exposition internationale de Saint Louis 1904. Rapport général