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The City of Domes

A Walk with an Architect About the Courts and Palaces of the Panama Pacific International ExposItion with a Discussion of Its Architecture - Its Sculpture - Its Mural Decorations Its Coloring - And Its Lighting - Preceded by a History of Its Growth

by John D. Barry

To the architects, the artists and the artisans and to the men of affairs who sustained them in the cooperative work that created an exposition of surpassing beauty, unique among the expositions of the world.



I. The View from the Hill
II. The Approach
III. In the South Gardens
IV. Under the Tower of Jewels
V. The Court of the Universe
VI. On the Marina
VII. Toward the Court of the Four Seasons
VIII. The Court of the Four Seasons
IX. The Palace of Fine Arts from across the Lagoon
X. The Palace of Fine Arts at Close Range
XI. At the Palace of Horticulture
XII. The Half Courts
XIII. Near Festival Hall
XIV. The Palace of Machinery
XV. The Court of the Ages
XVI. The Brangwyns
XVII. Watching the Lights Change
XVIII. The Illuminating and the Reflections
Features that Ought to he Noted by Day
Features that Ought to be Noted by Night


"The Pioneer Mother"
Design of the Exposition made in 1912
Site of the Exposition before Construction was Begun
Fountain of Youth
Fountain of El Dorado
Court of the Universe
"Air" and "Fire"
"Nations of the West" and "Nations of the East
"The Setting Sun" and "The Rising Sun"
"Music" and "Dancing Girls
"Hope and Her Attendants"
Star Figure; Medallion Representing "Art"
California Building
Spanish Plateresque Doorway, in Northern Wall
Eastern Entrance to Court of Four Seasons
Night View of Court of Four Seasons
Portal in Court of Four Seasons
The Marina at Night
Rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts
Altar of Palace of Fine Arts
"The Power of the Arts"
Italian Fountain, Dome of Philosophy
"The Thinker"
"Michael Angelo"
Italian Renaissance Towers
"The End of the Trail"
Colonnade in Court of Palms
"Victorious Spirit"
Entrance to Palace of Horticulture
Night View of the Palace of Horticulture
Festival Hall at Night
"The Pioneer"
Fountain of Beauty and the Beast
Entrance to Palace of Varied Industries
Group above Doorway of Palace of Varied Industries
Avenue of Palms at Night
Avenue of Progress at Night
Arcaded Vestibule in Entrance to Palace of Machinery
"Genii of Machinery"
"The Genius of Creation"
Tower in Court of the Ages
Fountain of the Earth
"The Stone Age"
"Fruit Pickers"
Entrance to Court of the Ages, at Night
"The Triumph of Rome"
"The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules"


In the main, this volume consists of articles originally published in the San Francisco BULLETIN. It includes material gathered from many visits to the Exposition grounds and from many talks with men concerned in the organization and the building and ornamentation. The brief history that forms the Introduction gives an account of the development. For me, as, I presume, for most people, the thing done, no matter how interesting it may he, is never so interesting as the doing of the thing, the play of the forces behind. Even in the talk with the architect, where the finished Exposition itself is discussed, I have tried to keep in mind those forces, and wherever I could to indicate their play.

The dialogue form I have used for several reasons: it is easy to follow; it gives scope for more than one kind of opinion; and it deals with the subject as we all do, when with one friend or more than one we visit the Exposition grounds. It has been my good fortune to he able to see the Exposition from points of view very different from my own and much better informed and equipped. I am glad to pass on the advantage.

The Exposition is generally acknowledged to be an achievement unprecedented. Merely to write about it and to try to convey a sense of its quality is a privilege. I have valued it all the more because I know that many people, not trained in matters of architecture and art, are striving to relate themselves to the expression here, to understand it and to feel it in all its hearings. If, at times, directly or in indirectly, I have been critical, the reason is that I wished, in so far as I could, to persuade visitors not to swallow the Exposition whole, but to think about it for themselves, and to bear in mind that the men behind it, those of today and those of days remote, were human beings exactly like themselves, and to draw from it all they could in the way of genuine benefit.

Though the volume is mainly devoted to the artistic features associated with the courts and the main palaces, I have included, among the illustrations, pictures of the California Building, both because of its close relation to California and because it is in itself magnificent, and of two notable art features, the mural painting by Bianca in the Italian Building, and "The Thinker", by Rodin, in the court of the French Pavilion.

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