Lee Gaskins' AT THE FAIR The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair
Web Design and Art/Illustration copyrighted 2008
Belgium's pavilion was designed as a piece of old Flemish architecture.
It was the largest foreign building constructed at the Fair. The grand pavilion was adorned with handsome exterior mural decorations and a towering dome crowned with sculpture. The structure was built mostly of steel brought from Antwerp. It Included a spreading entrance stairways, which projected on four sides of the building. It was 267 by 191 feet, cost 75,000 dollars, and was dedicated on May 4th.
Beside the unique architecture, one of the most interesting aspects of its design was the absence of windows in the pavilion. Light and ventilation were provided by big monitors in the center of the roof. The exterior wall surface is used exclusively for mural paintings. The grounds had flower beds and shrubbery surrounding it.
Inside, the building contained a number of carved walnut-paneled salons filled with paintings, tapestries and other artwork- included was a noted marble bust of king Leopold the second. Another salon housed Peter Paul Ruben's masterpiece- `Pieta.' variety of interesting exhibits of the factories of Belgium, including some excellent bronzes and ivories and 16th century furniture. The schools and universities of Belgium showcased their work and the Government had a representative railway exhibit.
The exhibit included a very interesting collection of the weapons and native products
from the Congo.
After the Fair closed, the Anheuser-Busch company bought the building and used it for a glassworks.