Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New VRC Accessions in 2008!


2008 has drawn to a close and the promise of a new year inspires me to go back and examine some of the highlights of the collection's image accessions!

January images included documentation of the installation of two of the plaster casts of the Panathenaic frieze from the Parthenon in the VRC!

These two (slightly damaged and restored) relief panels did not fit into the new space for the "Elgin Marbles" in the renovated Architecture Hall, so I volunteered to house them here in the Collection. An elegant and completely earthquake safe bracketing system for the panels was designed and installed by Paula Patterson.

January also brough us some fabulous copywork images from a book edited by Marc Treib called
The Architecture of Landscape, 1940-1960. Professor David Streatfield requested images of the works of Sven Markelius, Sylvia Crowe, and Sutemi Horiguchi (among others).

In February of 2008,
Professor Jennifer "Ready-for-Digital" Dee requested scans from her personal 35mm slides of the Etruscan Banditaccia Necropolis in Caere (Cerveteri). These compelling interior shots of some of the carved tufa tombs in the necropolis were a welcome addition to the Etruscan holdings of the VRC.

In February of 2008,
Professor Jennifer "Ready-for-Digital" Dee requested scans from her personal 35mm slides of the Etruscan Banditaccia Necropolis in Caere (Cerveteri). These compelling interior shots of some of the carved tufa tombs in the necropolis were a welcome addition to the Etruscan holdings of the VRC.

February also brought the Collection some on-site photography of the SANAA Exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery here at the UW; Professor Ken Oshima arranged for me to photograph the exhibition in the Henry.

A new publication about the Taj Mahal by Ebba Koch, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, provided the collection with some fascinating new images and new scholarship on the Taj Mahal Complex in March, 2008 . The growth of the city of Agra into the intended forecort of the complex is vividly illustrated in these images.

In March, Professor Dave Miller requested scans from his personal slides of the Metro Water Quality Laboratory by Miller/Hull in Seattle. Miller/Hull's Northgate Branch Library of the Seattle Public Library System was also documented in March by a VRC photographer.

April brought Spring Break to the college and inspired me to venture out to Ballard to photograph the Clarence Mayhew "Ballard Dennys" restaurant -- a rare example of "Googie" architecture in Seattle. Despite valiant efforts by DocomomoWEWA and AUP librarian Alan Michelson, the Ballard Dennys was torn down later in the year.

I photographed many buildings and sites in San Diego during the annual VRA (Visual Resources Association - or "Slide Curators of the World United," as I like to call us) conference; these images were cataloged into the VRC database in April. Some buildings I tracked down by request of faculty included Irving Gill's Church of Christ Scientist, the Lee-Teats Cottages on Albatross Street, and the Bishops School in LaJolla.
In May, VRC graduate student assistant Josh Polansky donated a number of his photographs of Japanese sites and gardens made during his Spring Break trip to Tokyo and Kyoto.

Le Corbusier's National Museum of Western Art, Herzog and de Meuron's Prada Boutique, and the 17th century Shugakuin were among the images the VRC acquired from Josh.

Copywork images acquired by the collection in May included the Denver Art Museum addition by Daniel Libeskind, plans and elevations of Romanesque churches, and some fabulous public domain images of the Galerie des Machines and the Eiffel Tower from the 1889 Exposition Universalle in Paris.

May's acquisitions also documented the
College's Recognition Day Ceremony.

In July, buildings from the Beijing Olympic campus were scanned from the July issue of the Architectural Record for cataloging into the database.

Professor Jim Nicholls requested i
mages from a 1945 issue of a magazine called View and from a book by Janis Mink, Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968: Art as Anti-Art for an article and presentation he gave at a conference.

Copywork in September included Sir Lawrence Weaver's
Houses and Gardens by E. L. Lutyens (1985), Elizabeth Rogers' Landscape Design (2001), James Crathorne's Cliveden: The Place and the People, and Chinese Imperial City Planning by Nancy Steinhardt.

Original photography acquired for the collection in September was dominated by Hilltop Community houses in Bellevue; through a tour of several of the houses sponsored by DocomomoWEWA, I was able to photograph historic houses by Wendell Lovett, Paul Hayden Kirk, and Thomas Albert Smith.

Through the efforts of Professor Grant Hildebrand, the VRC was able to photograph six original models of houses by Wendel Lovett.

The models are in great shape and are currently housed in the VRC.

November brought the Collection some copywork documentation of the W. E. Oliver House by Rudolph Schindler in Los Angeles, and of the Quai Branly Museum by Jean Nouvel in Paris. Professor Meredith Clausen requested the latter from GA Document 93.

Professor Carrie Sturts-Dos
sick requested documentation of the presentation boards her students made in CM313 Materials and Methods class. The concommitant Materials Fair in Gould Court was also photographed for the collection.

Rainer Metzger, graduate student assistant in the VRC, also donated throughout 2008 scans of some of his vast personal collection of 35mm slides and copies of some of his original digital photography during his trips to Europe.

They include a lovely sequence of the Brion Cemetery in Treviso by Carlo Scarpa and some great shots of the Pa
lazzo del Te in Mantua, Balkrishna Doshi's School of Architecture in Ahmedabad.


The VRC also acquired the 2008 "Module" (next installment) of Archivision's image archive -- some 6000 images as far-ranging as Sir John Soane's Bank of England, San Marco in Venice, and the ancient site of Ephesus.

With any luck, 2009 will prove to be as productive and eclectic for the Visual Resources Collection as 2008 was, despite impending budget cuts and economic gloom!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Road Trip to Americana!

In August, I took ten days vacation to help my friend Lise drive from Arizona to Wisconsin, where she has a new job starting in September. She had movers taking all her household stuff to Stevens Point, but she has three dogs that are hard to box up and ship anywhere, so she asked me to come along on a road trip and help with the driving and dogs!

I love a road trip so of course I said yes, especially when I learned we would be stopping at Carhenge, Mount Rushmore, and the Corn Palace!

After surviving hail north of Payson, Arizona on our way to Albuquerque, we toured the downtown of Winslow, Arizona, made famous in the Eagles' song. There is a terrific bit of Americana there in Winslow, appropriately on the corner on Route 66.

(There is not much else to recommend in Winslow, I must add....)

Next stop on the Americana Tour was Carhenge, a public art/memorial near Alliance, Nebraska. Carhenge was constructed in 1987 by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father, and a replica on Stonehenge.

It is constructed of 38 junked cars, painted grey (the windows are removed and replaced by metal sheets). It is literally in the middle of nowhere and is quite a sight (there is an excellent and modest gift shop as well).

And of course no Road Trip through the American Heartland would be complete without a stop at Mount Rushmore, the ultimate in patriotic kitsch and sculptural hubris! Lise had not been there since 1974 and was unfamiliar with the extensive and be-ribboned Visitor Center and its enormous gift shop (s)....

I had visited Mount Rushmore in 2000 and found the most amusing part of this 2008 visit the beautifully sited and lighted soda vending machine in the Women's Restroom (I suppose there was one in the Men's, too....) (Would Thomas Jefferson have chosen Mountain Dew?)

It is very flat and agricultural as you travel east through South Dakota, so our next Road Trip pilgrimage was to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

The Corn Palace was first built in 1892 as a celebration of the rich soil of the South Dakota prairie, and as an enticement for settlers to come and farm the land. The first palace was a temporary wooden building and was replaced by a more long lasting structure by the Chicago architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp in 1921. The minarets were added in 1937. Every year the Corn Palace is decorated with corn cobs, husks, and straw, and with other grains, illustrating a particular theme. The 2008-2009 theme was "Ordinary Heroes." Mitchell seems like a modestly prosperous and pleasant American town (sort of like a South Dakota Mayberry!), and the Corn Palace is definitely worth a visit!

I didn't realize that the interior of the Corn Palace is also decorated! It is a basketball court for a local college team, and has many murals inside. The most important part of the interior however is the Gift Shop, which takes over center court when basketball is not being played, and features postcards and tee shirts and all things corn and corny.

The final piece of Americana I will add to this Road Trip blog is a less vernacular and more historical example of middle American architecture, the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus, Wisconsin, which we visited on our way to the Milwaukee airport. This Louis Sullivan bank is very charming and beautifully proportioned, sited on a corner of downtown Columbus.

The Bank was constructed in 1919 and is a prime example of Sullivan's banking buildings, with subtle massing and delicate interlace decoration.

Oddly enough, the bank is enjoying some celebrity right now as the location for a bank robbery scene in a Johnny Depp movie about John Dillinger, so no one is surprised to see tourists on a Road Trip snapping photos like mad of the local bank!

We stopped and had lunch in Columbus, too, at the American Diner. The menu featured "Fahitas" and a "Monte Crisco" sandwich, as well as a "Corned Beef Burrito." The coffee was good but I skipped the Fahitas for pie....

It was a great Road Trip and I really enjoyed the sites. I highly recommend a visit to all of the above!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Architecture at the Beijing Olympics

The VRC Image of the Month for August is the "Water Cube" - the National Aquatics Center - built for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing by PTW Architects, an Australian firm.

The Water Cube glows at night with an eerie blue light through the 4000 "bubbles" of the exterior cladding. Resembling irregular and asymmetrical honeycombing, these bubbles are made of EFTE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) by Vector Foiltec. The Water Cube uses these bubbles to capture solar energy; vents in the cavities between the bubbles can be closed in winter to trap heat and opened in summer to reduce the temperature.

During the day, the Water Cube is just as compelling as the bubbles of EFTE shimmer within outlines their steel structure.

In this picture (from Flickr), the Water Cube is in the foreground and next to it is the "Bird's Nest" - probably the iconic building for the 2008 Olympics. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, with Arup engineering and CADG (China Architecture Design and Research Group, in design collaboration with the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Bird's Nest (National Stadium) also uses an asymmetrical, seemingly random pattern of exterior elements. Like the Water Cube, it also makes bold use of color, as the steel exoskeleton surrounds a crimson concrete stadium.

Other unusual buildings created for the Beijing Olympics include Digital Beijing by Studio Pei-Zhu and the Tennis Center by Bligh Voller Nield (you can see images of these buildings on the VRC's digital image database at:


if you search for Olympics in the keyword - email the VRC to get a password if you don't already have one!) The first image of the Water Cube and the image of the Birds Nest are from the July Architectural record, where you can also read about the Olympic construction in Beijing!

There are many interesting pictures of the Olympic Park in Beijing and of Beijing in general on Flickr, as well. The OMA/Rem Koolhaas building nicknamed the "Shorts" is another example of unusual (and perhaps exploitative?) architecture under construction in Beijing. The CCTV - China Central Television Headquarters -- is a creative and gravity-defying work that is sure to turn heads away from the grandeur of old Beijing's Forbidden City and new Beijing's Olympic structures.

(To me, the CCTV building looks like the Seattle Public Library -- another OMA/Rem Koolhaas work, you will remember -- stood up!)

The Beijing Olympics, of course, are more controversial than these unique buildings. The political controversies, athletic controversies, environmental controversies, and media access controversies are ubiquitous in the news and on the Internet; these issues open up dialog across lines of countries, sports fans, and human rights groups. I leave those controversies untouched and only present the architecture as the topic of this blog!

I have a fondness for the Olympics because my parents and my sister and I went to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 - as spectators, not participants! It takes a lot of planning ahead and sheer luck to pull off a trip to the Olympics - although it might be easier in this day and age with the Internet. Getting the tickets to events is dastardly and trying to line up hotel reservations and planes not too far in advance but not too late is critical!

My parents found us hotel rooms in a little town outside of Barcelona called Sitges, which is a beach resort town right on the Mediterranean, and is connected to Barcelona by rail. We stayed at a place called the Hotel Romantique (which had a fabulous courtyard where breakfast was served) which was nice but not fancy and casual but elegant, too. (We may have been the only heterosexuals there - the place was recommended by some friends of my parents from their Episcopalian Church in downtown Washington, DC!). We absolutely loved it. We lounged by the Mediterranean like we were in some movie on these lovely cabana chairs....

My sister took care of the plane tickets for our trip - which went well except our luggage did not arrive in Barcelona with us, having changed planes (or not changed planes) with us in Madrid. We were able to wait for the next flight to get our bags, but trying to explain all this to the Spanish airport officials was challenging! But all was well coming into Barcelona in the end. (Leaving Barcelona was another adventure, as there was a huge thunderstorm and the airport lost electricity for several hours! Leaving travelers in the dark and planes unable to take off -- our return flight to New York from Madrid was missed, of course! )

I arranged the event tickets - we had decided to try and see events that you never see on television and avoided the high profile events like gymnastics, diving, and American basketball - (that was the year of the "Dream Team" in the Olympics.... ) which were REALLY startling expensive to get tickets to, as well. Hundreds of dollars a ticket to see gymnastic, for example. So we saw equestrian events, fencing, boxing, field hockey, swimming, basketball (China vs Mexico, I think it was!), and two days of Track and Field. All were fantastic!

My sister drove the rental car while we were there (really brave!) for sightseeing - we went to Andorra, just to say we could, and drove along the (totally unmarked) country roads of the Catalan countryside with vineyards on each side...

Barcelona is a wonderful city and full of great things to see - a fabulous zoo, the Picasso Museum, the old Cathedral, all the lovely Gaudi buildings! During the Olympics, of course, the more unpleasant parts of a city are tightly controlled and pickpockets and prostitutes are hidden away - people are more patient with tourists and their horrible language skills and weird eating habits!

I made a special pilgrimage to Mies van der Rohe's reconstructed Barcelona Pavilion (which was pretty close to the swimming venue) and photographed the crap out of it! It is a lovely building and I was surprised at the color and warmth of the rather exotic and sumptuous stone (which was quarried from the location of the original stone). It was built for the International Exposition in Barcelona in 1929.

We also went to Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's never-finished cathedral, and my sister and I climbed one of the belltowers! It was really a trip to remember and I hope the visitors to the Beijing Olympics enjoy it as much as we did the one in Barcelona!

But I moved away from architecture in a digression of a personal nature so I will close with a reminder that the buildings in Olympic buildings in Beijing are sure to remain a topic of conversation long after the sports are over and the tourists have gone home!

Try searching for some images from Beijing on Flickr


or on the VRC's digital image database!


Heather Seneff
Visual Resources Collection
College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University of Washington

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Galerie des machines, Paris 1889: Iron or steel?

The problem of the Galerie des machines at the 1889 Paris International Exposition: iron or steel?

image from Engineering, The Paris Exhibition, May 3, 1889 (Vol. XLVII)

The Galerie des machines was the largest single-span structure in the world when it was built for the World’s Fair on the Champ de Mars in Paris in 1889. Designed by Ferdinand Dutert, a Beaux-Arts trained architect, and the engineer Victor Contamin, the building was so vast (spanning 364 ft) it made some visitors to the exhibition hall uneasy. The Galerie was entered through a Grand Vestibule, a domed structure also designed by Dutert.

The building was described in a contemporary journal during its construction in May of 1888:

Of the Machinery Hall three principals only are in place, but these are sufficient to give a good idea of what the building will be when completed, and of the vastness of its proportions. No such building has ever yet been attempted, and the beauty and simplicity of its design are as striking as its immense width and height. (1)

The Galerie was reused in the exhibition of 1900 (with its interior altered by a huge internal rotunda called the Salle des Fetes), and was destroyed in 1909-10. Its companion in the 1889 Exposition, the Eiffel Tower, fared better, and remains on the Paris skyline today.

Construction details, from Engineering, The Paris Exhibition, May 3, 1889 (Vol. XLVII)

Controversy: iron or steel?

The Galerie des machines was designed to be constructed in steel. The use of steel for construction of bridges and other large-scale spans began after Henry Bessemer patented a new means of manufacturing steel in 1855. The process made the mass-production of steel possible, and it evolved and improved through the nineteenth century, though steel remained a more expensive product than iron until the close of the century.

Iron was the metal used in large-scale construction before the development of the Bessemer process. The Eiffel Tower, for example, is constructed of iron. More specifically, it is constructed of “wrought iron,” rather than “cast iron.” (Cast iron, developed in the 15th century, is too brittle to be used in large scale construction.) A puddling iron process was developed in the late eighteenth century (one of several attempts to remove charcoal from wrought iron); bars of iron could be created from balls of puddle iron passed though a rolling mill.

Architectural and engineering history books and articles give conflicting information about the construction material used for the Galerie des machines. Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman, for example, in their survey book Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism (1986) specifically mention the use of steel as reason for the disconcerting thinness of the beams in the Galerie. (2) The 1987 edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s History of Architecture also describes it as steel. (3)

Stuart Durant in his monograph Palais des machines: Ferdinand Dutert (1994) consistently describes the structure as steel. He suggests that the trusses of the Galerie were hinged to compensate for expansion and contraction of the steel during temperature changes. (4) An essay by Angus Low, an engineer, is included in Durant’s monograph; “A Structural Appraisal” claims that the 111 meter span “was made possible by the use of steel, a new material at that time.” (5) Durant’s monograph mentions no controversy about the material used in the building.

However, Kenneth Frampton in his 1983 Modern Architecture: 1851-1945, describes the Galerie des machines as “ glass covering a clean space held in place by 10-foot-deep, wrought-iron lattice arches; steel at that date being extremely expensive.” (6) Leonardo Benevolo describes the Galerie’s columns as being built in iron and sheet-metal in his History of Modern Architecture, Volume I (1977).

The Oxford University Press’ Oxford Art Online also describes the Galerie des machines as iron in its article about Ferdinand Dutert. The bibliography for the article cites only contemporary sources (from 1889 and 1891). Barry Bergdoll in European Architecture 1750-1890 credits the Galerie as “the broadest span yet achieved in iron construction.” (7)

Wolfgang Friebe describes the structure as iron in his 1985 Buildings of the World Exhibitions. He quotes from Jurgen Joedicke’s Geschichte der modernen Architektur (1958) that the Galerie was the “climax of all endeavors in the field of iron construction in the nineteenth century.” (8) Friebe also cites Christian Schadlich’s 1967 work Das Eisen in der Architektur des 19. Jahrhunderts and his description of the building as iron. (9)

Claude Mignot describes the Galerie as “iron-and-steel architecture” (10) in his 1984 book Architecture of the Nineteenth Century in Europe, a tactful but uncommitted stance on the materials controversy that surrounds the lost building.

Volume 10 of Studies in the History of Civil Engineering: Structural Iron and Steel 1850-1900 includes a chapter by John W. Stamper, “The Galerie des Machines of the 1889 Paris world’s fair.” In it, Stamper claims that

The principal material of the building’s structure was to have been steel, but the decision was made at the last minute to use iron instead. There is considerable confusion about this on the part of architectural historians, most of whom assume it was built of steel since that is what is mentioned by contemporary journalists before the opening of the fair. William Watson, an American engineer who wrote a thorough report on the fair after it closed (11) states that the idea of using steel was abandoned “on the two-fold ground of expense and the necessity of hastening the execution of work.” The price of iron was about two-thirds that of steel in 1889. (12)

Construction details: two methods of erecting the roof by the two construction companies, from Engineering, The Paris Exhibition, May 3, 1889 (Vol. XLVII)

The language problem

In French, the word for iron is “fer” and the word for steel is “acier.” Steelwork is “partie metallique.” Ironwork is “ferronnerie.” “Siderurgique” is used both for “iron and steel industry” and for “steel industry.” This ambiguity of terms may have contributed to the confusion over the years about the material used in constructing the Galerie des machines.

Erection of the great truss girders. Method used by Cail & Co. (one of two methods used to erect the trusses). View of the girders and the erecting scaffolding. from Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture, 1892

The original sources

The May 3, 1889 issue of Engineering (“An Illustrated Weekly Journal”) was devoted entirely to the Paris Exhibition. Published in London, the periodical gives great detail about the finances, planning, and construction of the buildings and exhibits; it refers entirely to “iron” and “ironwork” when discussing the Galerie des machines, the Fine Arts and Liberal Arts Building, the Eiffel Tower, and other exhibit halls. The cost of the “ironwork” in the Galerie is reported as 215,932 pounds. (13)

In 1989, a centennial exhibition celebrating the 1889 Exposition was held in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. It was organized by the French Reunion des musees nationaux with the participation of the National Archives. The catalog of the exhibition 1889: La Tour Eiffel et l’exposition universelle includes a chapter on the Galerie des machines, written by Marie-Laure Crosnier-Leconte, based on documents from the national archives and on contemporary publications.

Crosnier-Leconte includes quotations from the original documentation of the preparations for the 1889 Exposition. Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand (1817-1891), Director of Public Works of Paris, oversaw the Paris expositions of 1867, 1878, and 1889, and his correspondence is frequently quoted in the chapter.

The cost of materials in constructing the exposition buildings was of great concern to Alphand. (14) He judged that the cost of using steel in the construction of the Galerie would be seven times more expensive than iron, (15) and he resolved in April of 1887 that the steel would be replaced with iron in the construction. (16) Extensive new tests and calculations were necessary for the change in material. (17)

William Watson’s publication of 1892, Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture, assigns a cost of 5,398,307.25 francs (18) to the ironwork of the Galerie. “Chapter XLVI: The Machinery Hall” in this publication includes many references to the use of iron in the building, quoting extensively from journals of 1889, including the May 3, 1889 issue of Engineering and “Galignani’s Messenger, July 1889.” (19)

Watson quotes extensively from the latter publication, which notes

Had steel been used, the framework would have been much lighter than it is, but the idea of resorting to it was abandoned on the two-fold ground of expense and the necessity of hastening the execution of the work. Those who believed that iron was ill adapted to the requirements of art as applied to industry have been agreeably surprised by the happy results achieved by M. Dutert. (20)

In the acknowledgements at the end of chapter on the Machinery Hall, William Watson cites “M. Contamin, chief engineer of the building, for valuable assistance and information.” (21) He continues:

The original plans and descriptions of Machinery Hall were published by M. Grosclaude, M. Contamin’s assistant, but were considerably modified (iron substituted for steel) before the structure was erected. M. Grosclaude was kind enough to correct his plans and descriptions published in Le Genie Civil and also furnish me with new drawings of the main girder and its details. (22)

Erection of the great truss girders. Method used by Cail & Co. (one of two methods used to erect the trusses). One of the upper platforms of the rolling scaffolding. from Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture, 1892


John Stamper’s comment in Studies in the History of Civil Engineering: Structural Iron and Steel 1850-1900 is correct that there has been “considerable confusion” (23) about the structural material used in the famous Galerie de machines at the 1889 Paris Exposition.

Contributing to this confusion are the conflicting accounts of journalists before the construction of the building, during its planning stage, when Dutert envisioned a steel structure, and the very language used to describe the metals used in construction. (24) Adolphe Alphand’s correspondence in his role as Director of Works of the exhibition can be considered part of the definitive answer to the question, however.

Contemporary sources concur that the Galerie, like the Eiffel Tower, was constructed of iron. William Watson’s consultations with Victor Contamin himself for his extensive description of the Galerie are conclusive evidence of the material of the structure as well.

If the Galerie had indeed been constructed with steel, the contemporary sources would undoubtedly have celebrated the novelty of the material, and contrasted it with the iron Eiffel Tower (which was excoriated in the contemporary press by many architects, artists, and historians of the time). (25)

The two 1889 exposition buildings, Galerie des machines -- spanning the broadest interior space of its time -- and the Tower -- the tallest structure of its time -- can indeed be considered the “climax of all endeavors in the field of iron construction in the nineteenth century.” (26)

Interior of the Galerie des machines, from Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture, 1892


Banister Fletcher, Sir; John Musgrove. Sir Banister Fletcher's A history of architecture. London: Butterworths, 1987.

Benevolo, Leonardo. History of modern architecture Vol 1. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1977.

Bergdoll, Barry. European Architecture: 1750-1890. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Crosnier-Leconte, Marie-Laure. “La Galerie des machines” in 1889 La Tour Eiffel et L’Exposition Universelle, Musee d’Orsay, May 16- August 15, 1989 [exhibition catalog], 164-195. Paris: Editions de la Reunion des Musees Nationaux, 1989.

Durant, Stuart. Palais des machines : Ferdinand Dutert. London: Phaidon, 1994.

Engineering. The Paris Exhibition, May 3, 1889 (Vol. XLVII). London : Office for Advertisements and Publication.

Engineering. The Paris Exhibition, June 1, 1888 (Vol. XLV). London : Office for Advertisements and Publication.

Engineering. The Paris Exhibition of 1889, December 16, 1887 (Vol. XLIV). London : Office for Advertisements and Publication.

Frampton, Kenneth and Yukio Futagawa. Modern architecture, 1851-1945. New York : Rizzoli, 1983.

Friebe, Wolfgang. Buildings of the World Exhibitions. Liepzig: Edition Liepzig, 1985.

Midant, Jean-Paul. "Dutert, Charles-Louis-Ferdinand." Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T024294 (accessed May 12, 2008).

Mignot, Claude. Architecture of the Nineteenth Century in Europe. New York: Rizzoli, 1984.

Stamper, John W. “The Galerie des machines of the 1889 Paris world’s fair” in Structural iron and steel, 1850-1900, edited by Robert Thorne, 261-284. Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate/Variorum, c2000.

Trachtenberg, Marvin and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from prehistory to post-modernism : the western tradition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall and New York: H.N. Abrams, 1986.

Watson, William. Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture. Washington [DC], Government Printing Office, 1892.


1) “The Paris Exhibition,” Engineering, (London : Office for Advertisements and Publication, May 11, 1888 [Vol. XLV]), 459.
2) Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman, Architecture, from prehistory to post-modernism: the western tradition (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall and New York: H.N. Abrams, 1986), 484.
3) John Musgrove, Sir Banister Fletcher, Sir Banister Fletcher's A history of architecture (London: Butterworths, 1987).
4) Stuart Durant, Palais des machines : Ferdinand Dutert (London: Phaidon, 1994), 21.
5) Durant, 56.
6) Kenneth Frampton and Yukio Futagawa, Modern architecture, 1851-1945 (New York: Rizzoli, 1983), 58.
7) Barry Bergdoll, European Architecture: 1750-1890 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 270.
8) Wolfgang Friebe, Buildings of the World Exhibitions (Liepzig: Edition Liepzig, 1985), 92.
9) Friebe, 94.
10) Claude Mignot, Architecture of the Nineteenth Century in Europe (New York: Rizzoli, 1984), 193.
11) Stamper cites William Watson in Paris Universal Exposition, 1889, Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture (Washington, DC, 1892), 834.
12) John W. Stamper, “The Galerie des machines of the 1889 Paris world’s fair” in Structural iron and steel, 1850-1900, edited by Robert Thorne, 261-284, (Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate/Variorum, c2000), 268.
13) “The Paris Exhibition,” Engineering, (London : Office for Advertisements and Publication, May 3, 1889 [Vol. XLVII]), 460.
14) Marie-Laure Crosnier-Leconte, “La Galerie des machines” in 1889 La Tour Eiffel et L’Exposition Universelle, Musee d’Orsay, May 16- August 15, 1989 [exhibition catalog], 164-195 (Paris: Editions de la Reunion des Musees Nationaux, 1989).
15) Crosnier-Leconte, 195, note 31 (“Le faconnage de l'acier coutait encore environ sept fois plus cher que celui de fer, car les trous pour la pose des rivets devaient etre fores et non poinconnes.” Nouvelles Annales de la Construction aout 1889, col.119).
16) There was considerable pressure on Alphand to make the Exhibition a financial success. According to the Engineering issue of December 16, 1887: “Some English and American journals have from time to time of late, given circulation to hostile and unfounded criticisms on the great demonstration that has been organised by the French Government for the year 1889. The detractors of the enterprise say that the buildings will not be ready because the funds will not be forthcoming. This allegation is almost too absurd to call for refutation.”
“The Paris Exhibition of 1889,” Engineering, (London : Office for Advertisements and Publication, December 16, 1887 [Vol. XLIV]), 627.
17) Crosnier-Leconte, 172. (“Alphand dut se resoudre a remplacer l'acier par du fer, quitte a alourdir les fermes. La nouvelle adjudication, le 25 avril 1887, fut, cette fois, publique. La substitution du fer a l'acier ne rendait guere l'enterprise plus attractive, le delai restant tres court pour un construction qui exigeait de longues etudes et un montage difficile.”
18) William Watson, Paris Universal Exposition, 1889: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture (Washington: Government Printing office, 1892), 833.
19) Watson, 833.
20) Watson, 834.
21) Watson, 863.
22) Watson, 863.
23) Stamper, 268.
24) As late as June 1888, the journal Engineering was reporting that the Galerie would be made of steel. “We will now consider the arch in detail, omitting the plate web, which does not add to its strength. The greatest span of this kind already in existence is that of the St. Pancras Station [London, engineers William Henry Barlow and Rowland Mason Ordish, 1869, with cast iron columns and wrought iron roof and arches] of 239 ft. 6 in., the feet of the principals being connected by tie rods. After trials made at Chattelerault, it was decided to employ steel as the material for the new roof; this is the first time that metal has been used for a work of this kind.”
“The Paris Exhibition,” Engineering, (London : Office for Advertisements and Publication, June 1, 1888 [Vol. XLV]), 537.
25) Watson, 832. “And during twenty years we shall see, stretching over the entire city, still thrilling with the genius of so many centuries, we shall see stretching out like a black blot the odious shadow of the odious column built up of riveted iron plates.” Signers of this letter included Messonier, Gounod, Garnier, Gerome, Bougeureau, and Dumas.
26) Bergdoll, 270.