An elaborate celebration of a singular historical event, like our exalted centennial in 2009 for the 1909 Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, once paraded may then barely wiggle. It is something of a rule for centennials. What at the age of 100 becomes an object to venerate, without attention quickly goes ho-hum at 101. But arise Seattle. Forgetting your first worlds fair is not fair.
For instance, this Beau-Arts beauty served as the state’s contribution to the 1909 fair’s often elegant flash. It may still be admired in the above photograph, which, it seems was taken some time before AYP’S lavish gates were open for the first time in the spring of 1909, or before any visitors were counted on this unmarked day. And the illuminated record of it, below, surely dazzles.
And it kept on giving. The Washington State Building – its name – served the University as its library long after the AYPE closed in the fall of 1909. After 1927 it was home to the Washington State Museum. Certainly it will be remembered even today by many of the older UW alums among Pacific’s readers.
This was the official building for the host state, Washington, and throughout AYP it was the expo’s “VIP-magnet,” distinguished by the number of its ceremonial uses. The Times surmised, “within the walls (of this) veritable palace at a cost of $75.000 and furnished lavishly, the citizen of the Evergreen State is host and not guest. Unlike the state buildings at other expositions, it is not surrounded by an air of formality, nor are there any exhibits on display.”
For provincial exhibits of Washington’s products there was another taxpayer construction, the AYP’S Forestry Building, which although made from often huge unhewn logs was shaped and ornamented like a classical temple – a “temple of timber.” The historical photograph of the state building used here was taken from an upper veranda of that “temple.” After the fair the Forestry Building was slowly digested by wood-chewing beetles. Since 1949 its footprint has been mostly covered by the HUB – the Husky Union Building. Jean recorded his “repeat” from an upper floor of the HUB.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, a few related subjects.
BEAUX ARTS at AYPE
Beaux Arts architecture – most readily associated with Paris – was the most prolific style used at AYPE.The Washington State Building is one example. A few others follow.
SEATTLE NOW & THEN – MILITARY DISCIPLINE at the AYPE
(First appeared in Pacific, July 11, 2009)
The Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exposition’s official photographer, Frank H. Nowell, was not the only commercial camera working the fair grounds and – in this week’s subject – its perimeter. Here with the useful caption “O.A.C. Cadets in camp – A.Y.P. Expo. – Seattle June 5th 9 – 09” the unidentified photographer has named the part of her or his subject that might pay for the effort of recording it: the cadets themselves.
The Oregon Agricultural College Cadets’ tents have been pitched just outside the fair grounds in the wide lawn northeast of the Administration Building, the first building raised on the new “Interlaken campus” in 1894-95. In 1909 it was still one year short of being renamed Denny Hall.
Thanks now to Jennifer Ott who helped research historylink’s new “timeline history” of the AYPE. I asked Jennifer if she had come upon any description of the part played in the Exposition by what Paula Becker, our go-between and one of the authors of the timeline, capsulated for us as “those farmin’ Oregon boys.” Ott thought it likely that the cadets participated in the “military athletic tournament” which was underway on June 5, the date in our caption. Perhaps with this camp on the Denny lawn they were also at practice, for one of the tournament’s exhibitions featured “shelter camp pitching.”
Jennifer Ott also pulled “a great quote” from the Seattle Times, for June 12. It is titled “Hostile Cadets in Adjoining Camps,” and features the Washington and Idaho cadets, but not Oregon’s. Between the Idaho and Washington camps the “strictest picket duty was maintained and no one was admitted until word was sent to the colonel in command, who was nowhere to be found. This meant that no one was admitted, except the fair sex, the guards having been instructed to admit women and girls without passes from the absent colonel.” And that is discipline!