12 thoughts on “Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, 1905

  1. The U.S. Government Building summarized the themes of prosperity and progress. A working model of the new Palouse irrigation project in eastern Washington, a relief model of the Klamath Basin reclamation project in southern Oregon, and a fish hatchery demonstrated how engineering and science could enhance regional growth. Panoramas of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Falls looked forward to the expansion of western tourism. Naval displays were a reminder that the United States had become a Pacific military power.

    Portland’s leaders hoped that the Lewis and Clark Exposition would garner reams of favorable publicity. When they emblazoned “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way” on the arch over the entrance gate, they anticipated that visitors would see that empire was making its way westward to Oregon. And it was a success. Journalists from the East Coast called the Exposition “Portland’s pride” and commented that “the whole fair is a successful effort to express . . . the natural richness of the country and its relative nearness to Asia.”
    Abbott, Carl. The Great Extravaganza: Portland’s Lewis and Clark Exposition. 3d ed. Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 2004.

  2. The photographer chose to capture the mirror reflection of the building in the lake. I think he may have been in a boat on the lake because the photo is “blurred” and usually a glass plate negative from that date would have terrific resolution. The building itself is unusual by today’s standards because the building looks to be completely symmetrical on the exterior, so much so that it would only be necessary to draw one half of the building for the construction documents with a note to repeat the plan opposite hand. So just like the reflection in the lake the building is a reflection of itself.

  3. It is interesting that the prevailing architectural style of so many fair buildings were designed in Spanish Revival, perhaps reflecting the earlier mission settlements in California and the Spanish presence to the south.

  4. Bob, I’d say the style is Spanish Renaissance with a heavy Beaux-Arts influence, Spanish Renaissance is European in Style rather than Colonial.

  5. I’d like to see a picture of the steam powered pumping plant that pumped Willamette river water into that lake. It was very shallow without that pumped in water.

  6. any idea why one cupola is empty. and the other (right) has something in it? was there some sort of lighting apparatus or glass in the right one?

  7. And what is left of this; just a small plaque on Upshur St. between 25th and 26th, signifying that at one time the Biggest Log Cabin in the world was at this location from the Great Lewis and Clark Exposition. On a very hot August day in 1964 the log cabin burst into flames and burned to the ground in 30 minutes; and the new Western Forestry Center in the Oregon Zoo area does not even have any reference to it.

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