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the bridges, avenues, and boulevards— tion had no such elbow-room. The river, belonged, moreover, to the municipality, as I have said, and all its bridges, with and could neither be moved nor modified. their connecting streets and boulevards, Nor could the traffic of the city be inter- were immovable fixtures, while almost rupted for a moment, either during the every tree that spread its shade above the construction or continuance of the great grass had to be considered. This curFair. The smallest object--small as re- tailment of space, this arbitrary cutting gards ground space—had to be considered. of corners, greatly deplored by foreign Nothing, for instance, could be done governments and exhibitors, had, howwhich would destroy or jeopardize the ever, its compensations-it destroyed the trees which everywhere make Paris beauti- possibility of that regularity of design so ful. If a line of a pavilion included any dear to the French landscape architect. one of them, then the line of the pavilion For the moss-grown rule in many French must stop short. The gnarled tree- ateliers demands that all designs must be trunk, for instance, which held up one balanced and squared—as well balanced corner of the Russian pavilion, when as the stretch between the Louvre and seen from inside the building, looked like the Arc de Triomphe, where a line drawn a sample of Siberian timber decorated along the middle of the Champs Elysée with semi-barbaric shields and strap- exactly intersects the Gambetta statue, pings-a mere column supporting the the fountains of the gardens, the obeceiling. It was really one of the sacred lisk, and the keystone of the Arc itself. trees of Paris—a vigorous old sycamore These geometrical parallelograms delight spreading its branches high above the the Parisian. roof, its future glory assured by a munici- “How beautiful!” said an admiring pal edict.
stranger, as he drove up the Champs These conditions hampered the archi- Elysée. “The rows of superb trees, the tects, and, except in a few favored spots, great line of palaces, the majestic arch rendered impossible the effects they sought crowning the hill-it is perfect.” and which otherwise they might have “ No,” said the Frenchman beside him, produced.
“not perfect. We could not arrange the This fact alone makes comparison be- sky." tween our own Columbian Exhibition and At Chicago no such geometrical plan the French Exposition a difficult task. was attempted or considered. The arAnd yet a desire to make such compari- rangement, while symmetrical, was not son naturally arises in the breast of every formal. Nor did any two objects repeat American.
themselves for the mere sake of balancing Thus the Columbian Exhibition was the general composition. It is true that not hampered by the conditions found Hunt's superb Administration Building in Paris. Its site lay outside the turmoil filled one end of the loop, and that and whirl of Chicago, on a bare stretch Atwood's marvelous Peristyle beautified of marsh and sand-dune, where there the other, the connecting link being the was room enough and to spare. The Lagoon. But both these objects were so plan had only to be drawn along broad unlike in mass and detail that the regularlines, and the steam dredge promptly ity of the whole design passed unnoticed. bored its way in from the lake, carving A certain harmony of form followed out lagoons and waterways. The archi- greatly heightened by the choice of matetectural effects obtained along this flat rial and color, especially that of the delicate waste were due as much to this prac- ivory-white which drank in every sky-tone ticaliy unlimited elbow-room as to the from dull gray to resplendent turquoise. genius of the board of architects who The result was a vast sweep, a dreamy caused a bare desert to blossom into bigness, expressing a dignity, grandeur, beauty. They had only to use this square and beauty which made you catch your of land as they would a chess-board, breath when the full glory of the display placing pawns and castles as they wished, burst upon you. and the White City rose like a white Another difference between the two wraith from out the ooze of the marshes. expositions was to be found in the points
The projectors of the French Exposi- of view obtainable. In Paris there was really no one point from which the whole of the Lake softening the outlines of extent of the display could be seen, unless, the buildings reflected in the still Lagoon, perchance, one climbed a tower or soared every minaret, dome, and roof ablaze in heavenward in an anchored balloon. the silver light. Even when some supposed point of van- “ The Dream City," one woman called it. tage was gained, the view never rose to Others named it “ The City of the White the dignity of a grand vista. Nor did Lady," " The Wonder of Aladdin," and any one building help any other by reason the like. Or some more devout and imof its proximity. From one end of the pressionable soul, looking in wonder at Alexander Bridge, for instance, looking this marvelous spectacle, would compare toward the Champs Elysées, one could see it to the Eternal City, with its streets of the full sweep of the wonderful bridge, gold, or liken it to some fairy picture conwith its square columns topped with jured from out the tales of his youth, gilded figures, the roadway thronged with and equally vague. This universal inpeople; but no other structure about it ability to find words with which to express helped the composition. The two new the beauty of the Columbian Exposition, Art Palaces were in evidence—the little or any name or title by which to convey one behind the trees, and the big one the impression it produced, always seemed against the horizon—but neither of them to me to be the strongest proof of its counted in the general whole. When you unique originality. No such profound walked nearer, you lost the full effect of impression was made by the Exhibition the Bridge, and when you walked away at Paris. you lost the Palaces. Your best view of Other comparisons between the two the Grand Palais was from the steps of Expositions naturally suggest themselves. the Petit Palais, and you had to walk The assumption that France holds first over to the Petit Palais to see the Grand place in the art of the world is no longer Palais in its entirety. So it was with the true, if this Expositon held her standards. view from the terrace of the Trocadero. This claim may have been true fifteen One could look, to be sure, down the years ago, but it is not so now. I have broad street which was flanked by the the effrontery to hazard the opinion that Russian Pavilion, toward that of Algiers only four distinct new notes have been at the foot of the hill, with the Eiffel sounded in France in the past fifteen Tower candlestick and electric fountains years. These are by Cazin, in landscape; beyond; but it was like looking down any Rodin, in sculpture; Rostand, in poetry; other broad avenue hemmed in by high and that incomparable wizard, René Lalbuildings.
lique, who in his exercise of the goldAt Chicago, on the other hand, every smith's art displays a genius that astounds step around the Lagoon gave a new and the world. Many others have rung their commanding picture. There were, more silver bells both in art and literature, and over, numberless points of sight, notably still ring them to our delight-Zola, from the little bridge spanning the outlet Coquelin, Bernhardt, Gérôme, Bastien-Lecanal of the Lagoon-the one lying be- page, Bonnat, and the others—but these tween French's statue and Atwood's Peri- silver bells were cast long before 1875. style—where the eye at one sweep caught Many influences have produced this the full glory of a display unequaled in change. Some of them are due to national our own and perhaps in any other period and social conditions outside the scope of of the world's history. Men's hearts have this paper, and have no place here. Others glowed at sight of what is left of the Par- can be more easily traced. One of them thenon ; the Taj Mahal has thrilled with is, unquestionably, the steady progress in its white beauty; and the City by the Sea, art made by foreign competitors; notably guarded by the Campanile, has compelled that of the little band of men who have an admiration and love which in some of come out of the West, and whose canvases us savors of idolatry. But nowhere on have been of late years hung upon the the globe-no, not in a thousand years— line beside the best that Paris could prohave the eyes of man fallen on so exquisite duce. These Americans have pressed an architectural group as was seen at hard for this position of first place, and sunrise of a summer morning, the haze still do. One had only to walk through