The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace Exhibition Building in Hyde Park, using prefabricated parts, took 17 weeks to erect, opening in 1851 with a plan area about 6 times that of St Paul’s Cathedral. The exposition was a great success, attracting more than six million visitors during the five months that it was open to the public. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, it was then intended merely as a temporary building but the public decided to keep it as a masterpiece of England. The structure was taken down and rebuilt with certain modifications that were proposed by Sir Joseph Paxton. It was converted it into a winter garden and adapted it to other scientific purposes. Finally The Hyde Park Crystal Palace building was purchased by the Crystal Palace Company for $4,583,250.00 from Fox & Henderson, who restored it on its present site at Sydenham Hill. The reconstruction began the fifth of August in 1852, by Samuel Laing, and the building was opened on 10 June 1854 by Queen Victoria. The construction of The Palace had a total cost of $1,962,600.00. The Palace was the most magnificent and costly building of its particular kind that has ever been built. On average England spent $78,504.00 each year to build it. The main building, exclusive of wings and colonnades, was 1,850 feet long and 408 feet wide. It was composed of 9,642 tons of iron and twenty-five acres of glass. When the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham the central transept was made much higher, and the north and south transepts and the two towers were added. The towers were each 282 feet high and the central transept was 108 feet high. The construction occupied 18 acres on the ground, while its total floor area was about 990,000 square feet. The grounds of the palace contained magnificent fountains, an unrivaled collection of statuary, many fine specimens of trees and shrubs and full size models of prehistoric animals, which were to become world famous. When the towers were completed they were found...
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