Source: Bolivar Breeze
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Pan-American a Memory Only”
City of publication: Bolivar, New York
Date of publication: 8 December 1904
Volume number: 13
Issue number: 2
|“Pan-American a Memory Only.” Bolivar Breeze 8 Dec. 1904 v13n2: p. [?].|
|Pan-American Exposition (closure and related matters); Temple of Music; Pan-American Exposition (emergency hospital).|
|Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.|
Pan-American a Memory Only
Exposition Grounds Are Strewn with Wreckage of the Beautiful
—Asphalt Streets Buried with Debris and the Venetian Canals Filled Up.
A broad expanse of uneven land, intersected here
and there with large gullies, piles of bent and rusted tin, large pieces of
[stuff?] strewn about promiscuously, several untrimmed trees, and countless
posts driven almost their entire length into the ground are the sole remains
of the Pan-American Exposition. Three years have passed since the great tract
of land was covered with the most beautiful of landscape, including fine trees,
shrubbery and plants; beautiful buildings and many features that made the Buffalo
Fair one of the greatest expositions that was ever arranged within the confines
of the United States.
The Exposition was one of the most beautiful and educational exhibits that citizens had the good fortune to visit. Without the prejudice that might accompany a home judgment, Buffalo’s show ranked with the best in the land. Its compactness was wondered at. Its buildings were architectural beauties. Its decorative plan was most aesthetic. Its illumination was dazzling and its educational scope wide. All these triumphs of man’s art have passed into oblivion. Men look back and wonder at the Exposition, but today there is hardly a soul who will interest himself sufficiently to view the remains of the composite city of fun, learning and sports.
Like Devastation of an Army.
Today the Pan-American grounds present a spectacle that is an eyesore. It has every appearance of being the location of a great city that was destroyed by an army in battle. The devastation is complete. Not a semblance of a building remains standing. Not a complete roadway isleft [sic] within the boundaries of the Exposition. Not a place of shrubbery that was transplanted to make the landscape effect striking, thrives. A few trees, with their misshapen limbs, stand up like ghosts of their former thriving condition. The ravages of a guerilla band could not have accomplished greater ruin. The above is but an epitome of what can be seen at the place where thousands of dollars changed hands.
Nothing Marks Temple of Music.
History was made at the Pan-American Exposition
grounds. President McKinley was shot down by the assassin, Leon Czolgosz, in
the Temple of Music. Nothing remains of the building in which the President
received the fatal wound. A few piles driven into the ground, the foundation
of the building, are monuments to the site of the base deed. Scattered plaster,
a few pieces of tin, and numerous small fragments of boards remain on the ground
to mark the location of the spot where foul treachery was exchanged for a cordial
At the Amherst Street entrance, where the Pan-American Hospital was located, and to which building the stricken President was hurried, nothing remains to mark the spot. Familiarity with the grounds alone aids the sightseer to find the spot. Like the other building, there are a few pieces of timber and a quantity of dust lying on the ground to designate the spot where the suddenly stricken President was taken for treatment.
Foundations as Monuments.
Machinery Hall, the Agricultural Building, the
Plaza Restaurant, and the many other minor structures have nothing left to mark
their identity. Their destruction has been most complete. A few pieces of the
foundation protrude from the ground. The pile of waste material is rain washed
and weather beaten [sic] and taken together the place looks more like
a public dumping ground than the ruins of an exposition.
The Midway, the scene of many shows of different character and various descriptions is unrecognizable. The street of laughter has completely disappeared. There is not a plank left of the many buildings where the many concessionaries exhibited to the curious public their freaks, or the products of ingenious minds. The long lane of asphalt over which thousands of feet trod daily in and out of the shows is almost hidden from view.
Limbs of Statues Crumbling.
Long strips have been ripped from the ground.
In many spots the homely piles of clay are banked high an,d [sic] have
completely buried the asphalt from view. At intervals of several hundred feet,
the cracked pavement appears like an oasis in a great desert. In several spots
there are to be found the limb or the bust of a statue which is rapidly being
dissolved by the frequent rains. They are beginning to crumble away to dust.
The Stadium, the remarkable amphitheater where so many contests of athletic skill took place, is a thing of the past. The Stadium was the greatest enclosure ever built in this city, yet like the other buildings it was torn down. The cinder track is ruined. The wagons that carted wood from the grounds cut ruts into the best runway that Buffalo athletes ever stepped upon.
Canals Are Dry.
Coursing throughout the entire field is a series
of wild excavations, which have the appearance of being extraordinary sewer
ditches. They are dry, except for the small amount of water that rests in them
from rains. They are all that remains of the Venetian canals, in which the gondolas
plied and where many a romance had its inception. They have been carefully drained
and in many places the ruins of buildings have been dumped into the holes to
fill them up. One spot in particular appears as if the entire amount of tin
used on the buildings was thrown into the canal.
At the points where the bridges spanned the artificial canals, the dirt is piled high and either side has the appearance of a rough and uneven declivity of a Colorado canyon, only on a smaller scale. One would not recognize the grounds as the place where the canals held the placid waters.
Trees in Poor Shape.
Trees that were imported have been literally
extirpated. A few remain, but there are many holes in the ground that show where
trees once stood and shaded rustic benches beneath. Four or five dead trees
remain and they are decaying with every passing day.
Comparatively few spots are leveled and graded. The property adjoining the Park Club and the Rumsey site have been placed in something like the original condition. But the greater part is but a mass of debris. The old fence, with its three rows of barbed wire at the top, is still standing, although at regular intervals boards have been ripped off and probably were used to make ready some workingman’s breakfast. The Pan-American Exposition is a thing of the past, but it will be a long time before the remains of the city will have disappeared.