Proposed Design for the Main Building of the
Unsigned, ca. 1876
Ink and watercolor on paper
13 1/2" x 34 1/2" National Archives and Records Administration, General Records of the
Department of the Treasury
Main Building of the 1876 Exposition The 1876 Exposition in Philadelphia was a celebration
of the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and America's
reunification after the Civil War. The first international exposition
held on American soil, it was intended to showcase the nation's industrial,
scientific, and commercial progress. Planning the exposition took 10 years.
Thirty-five of the 38 states and 50 nations provided exhibits. More than
10 million people attended. This design for the main government building
was not implemented. The final design, although similar in style and character
to the one seen here, was considerably larger, somewhat taller, and had
more prominent square towers.