Apart from some cases related to the glories of nineteenth-century structural engineering and some isolated examples representing the avant-garde of the moment, world’s fair architecture of the eclectic period continues to be quite an unexplored subject within the panorama of recent architecture. This article analyzes the function of nineteenth-century world’s fair architecture by considering the interpretation and display of past traditions in local and international exhibition, the different strategies implemented in their conception, and current approaches to interpretation. Finally, a reflection is made about the role of world’s fair architecture in the creation of the architecture and urban planning of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century cities. This paper is an elaboration of some ideas presented in the book: Fernando Vegas López-Manzanares, La Arquitectura de la Exposición Regional Valenciana de 1909 y de la Exposición Nacional de 1910 (Valencia: Ediciones Generales de la Construcción, 2003).
The full article is available at Project Muse.
Image: Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, 1876. Memorial Hall, built for the Centennial Exhibition, is almost the only architectural vestige of a world’s fair characterized by its obsession with order and the exhibitive classification within the enclosure of the exposition. (Fernando Vegas and Camilla Mileto)