The Jewel City

Ben Macomber
The Jewel City

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Jewel City, by Ben Macomber
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Title: The Jewel City
Author: Ben Macomber
Release Date: January, 2005 [EBook #7348] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 18,
Edition: 10
Language: English

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CITY ***

Produced by David Schwan

Panama-Pacific International Exposition

The Jewel City:
Its Planning and Achievement; Its Architecture, Sculpture, Symbolism,
and Music; Its Gardens, Palaces, and Exhibits

By Ben Macomber

With Colored Frontispiece and more than Seventy-Five Other


No more accurate account of the Panama-Pacific International
Exposition has been given than one that was forced from the lips of a
charming Eastern woman of culture. Walking one evening in the Fine
Arts colonnade, while the illumination from distant searchlights
accented the glory of Maybeck's masterpiece, and lit up the half-domes
and arches across the lagoon, she exclaimed to her companion: "Why,
all the beauty of the world has been sifted, and the finest of it
assembled here!"
This simple phrase, the involuntary outburst of a traveled visitor, will
be echoed by thousands who feel the magic of what the master artists
and architects of America have done here in celebration of the Panama
Canal. I put the "artists" first, because this Exposition has set a new
standard. Among all the great international expositions previously held
in the United States, as well as those abroad, it had been the fashion for
managers to order a manufactures building from one architect, a
machinery hall from another, a fine arts gallery from a third. These

worked almost independently. Their structures, separately, were often
beautiful; together, they seldom indicated any kinship or common
purpose. When the buildings were completed, the artists were called in
to soften their disharmonies with such sculptural and horticultural
decoration as might be possible.
The Exposition in San Francisco is the first, though it will not be the
last, to subject its architecture to a definite artistic motive. How this
came about it is the object of the present book to tell,--how the
Exposition was planned as an appropriate expression of America's joy
in the completion of the Canal, and how its structures, commemorating
the peaceful meeting of the nations through that great waterway, have
fitly been made to represent the art of the entire world, yet with such
unity and originality as to give new interest to the ancient forms, and
with such a wealth of appropriate symbolism in color, sculpture and
mural painting as to make its great courts, towers and arches an
inspiring story of Nature's beneficence and Man's progress.
Much of Mr. Macomber's text was written originally for The San
Francisco Chronicle, to which acknowledgment is made for its
permission to reprint his papers. The popularity of these articles, which
have been running since February, has testified to their usefulness. In
many cases they have been preserved and passed from hand to hand.
They have also won the endorsement of liberal use in other
publications. It is proper to say, however, that similarity of language
sometimes indicates a common following of the artists' own
explanations of their work, made public by the Exposition
Mr. Macomber has revised and amplified his chapters hitherto
published, and has added others briefly outlining the history of the
Exposition, and dealing with the fine-arts, industrial, and livestock
exhibits, the foreign and state buildings, music, sports, aviation, and the
amusement section. Apart from the smaller guides, the book is thus the
first to attempt any comprehensive description of the Exposition.
Without indiscriminate praise, or sacrificing independent judgment, the
author's purpose has been to interpret and explain the many things
about which the visitors on the ground and readers at home may
naturally wish to know, rather than to point out minor defects.
For the general exhibit palaces,
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