New York's entry stood on the brow of a hill, the land sloping off gently to
the north, and faced upon a broad plaza, through which ran one of the
most frequented highways within the grounds, known as Commonwealth
avenue. For its neighbors were the buildings of Kansas, Iowa,
Massachusetts, Ohio, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, while westward, at the foot
of the hill, was located the great cage erected by the United States
government, which held the exhibit of live birds from the Smithsonian
Institute. Designed in dignified Italian architecture with colonial treatments, the building was surmounted with a low dome. There was a large hall 60 feet square running the full height, arched and domed in the Roman manner, with galleries around the second story.
The sculpture treatment of the building was most carefully considered, with the result that Martiny's Quadriga, which flanked the dome and represented the progress of art and commerce, and Lenz's dancing groups around the portico columns, were among the best examples to be seen
There are wide porches on the sides and ends and a portico in the center, with Doric columns that support a pediment in which are the commonwealth's Coat of Arms. The porches were provided with easy chairs for visitors during the heated term and on the north part luncheons were served.
Outside, the New York building contained many beautiful, stately
trees, afforded countless opportunities for landscape effects. From the
opening day the grounds presented a charming appearance, the well-kept
lawns giving place here and there to large beds of nasturtiums, poppies,
cannae, and rhododendrons, while at the lowest point on the grounds,
near the northeast corner, was located a lily pond. It was filled with
the choicest aquatic plants of every variety, which were furnished
through the courtesy of Shaw's Gardens and the Missouri Botanical
Bids were received from several firms of contractors, ranging from
80,000 dollars down to the contract price of the building, viz., 56,518 dollars, at which figure Messrs. Caldwell & Drake, of Columbus, Ind., contracted to complete the building in accordance with plans and specifications of the architect- Mr. Clarence Luce, of New York City.
The structure emphasized detail and architectural lines over elaborate decoration, and the 300 by 60 foot structure cost 88,275.23 dollars.
Inside, the pavilion showcased a stateroom and three magnificent organs, the largest- an Acolian Pipe organ was valued at 50,000 dollars. Interested guests gathered every afternoon to hear the Aeolian Pipe-Organ concerts. From three to four o'clock, the handsome assembly-room and wide rotunda are filled with visitors from every State and from many nations, listening to the pure tones of the organ played by means of a roll of perforated paper.
The state's main hall was flanked on the northern side by a large assembly corridor with a barrel ceiling running up to the second story, and the treatment of this room in old gold, Antwerp blues, and siennas was beautiful. The draperies were in green velvet, and the chairs were of leather, treated to represent the old
Spanish illuminated leather. There were rooms for banquets or functions of any kind. On the westerly side were the waiting rooms for men and women, writing rooms, and also retiring rooms and toilets.
The mural decorations of the large hall were done by Florian Peixotto, and represented De Soto discovering the Mississippi, one showing the French and Indian occupation of the land, and others showing New York in 1803 and New York in 1903.
The state building's kitchen had a new innovation- the electrical stove created by the Bayno Company.
An offer from the Aeolian Company, of New York city, to install, at its own expense, a pipe organ in the building was accepted, and an appropriation of 3,500 dollars was made for an ornamental case to contain the organ which would be a distinctive addition to the decoration of the entrance hallway.
The Herter Brothers, of New York City furnished the State building, in accordance with specifications prepared by the Commission for 18,000 dollars.
Apartments in the top floor were reserved for the commissioners, the Governor and the hostess.
New York had a vast and noteworthy exhibit in the Palace of Education, but also had strong displays in the Palaces of Horticulture, and Forestry, Fish and Game Building, which included an Adirondack forest preserve.
In the Palace of Fine Arts, New York had 1,112 out of a total of 3,524 exhibits. They were selected after very careful scrutiny by a jury appointed by the National Academy of Design, and consisted of oil paintings, mural paintings, water colors, miniatures, illustrations, etchings, engravings, lithographs, wood engravings, sculpture, architecture, and applied arts.
In the Palace of Agriculture, New York had a facsimile of the Liberty Bell, exact in size, with all the inscriptions- in butter.
the Commission took considerable care in the choosing of a day to be known as "New York Day." It was considered important that a date should be named upon which it would be possible for the Governor to be present.
Moreover it seemed essential that no date during the heat of the summer should be designated, as but few New Yorkers would be apt to be present at St. Louis at that time, and, therefore, after mature consideration,
October fourth was designated as New York State Day.
On New York Day, President Francis was quoted as:
"A universal exposition, either in the United States or elsewhere, would be incomplete if the Empire State of the American Union were not represented. This site has been selected for the great State of New York, and upon this location we trust there will be erected a structure which will be in keeping with the glorious record New York and her sons have made from the beginning of this country. New York needs no encomium from me, none in fact from her sons. She speaks for herself. The Director of Works will present to the chairman of the New York
Commission the site for the building of the State of New York."