Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Semi-Weekly Messenger
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “A New Business”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Wilmington, North Carolina
Date of publication: 24 October 1902
Volume number: 35
Issue number: 82
Pagination: 5

“A New Business.” Semi-Weekly Messenger 24 Oct. 1902 v35n82: p. 5.
full text
Pan-American Exposition (closure and related matters); Frank Harris (public statements); Temple of Music; Pan-American Exposition (emergency hospital); Chicago House Wrecking Company.
Named persons
Frank C. Bostock; Frank Harris; William McKinley.


A New Business


A Company Which Speculates in Old Exposition Buildings.

     By January 1 the last vestige of the Pan-American Exposition will have been removed, according to the calculations of the Chicago Wrecking Company, the firm engaged in the demolition and disposal of the buildings. Owing to litigation instituted by the creditors of the exposition company early in the year and the scarcity of labor completion of the work has been considerably delayed. From thirty to fifty carloads of lumber, structural iron, piping and other material are being shipped every day from the grounds and about two-thirds of the quantity remaining has been sold in different parts of the United States.
     “The Exposition buildings,” said Superintendent Harris, of the wrecking company, “are being scattered to the four corners of the country and some of the material has been shipped to the Bermuda Islands. Most of the lumber, of which more than 33,000,000 feet were used in the Fair, has been disposed of to farmers in nearly every state for barns. As far West as the Dakotas and Nebraska farm buildings are being erected from Pan-American material.
     “The floor of the Temple of Music, where President McKinley was shot was bought by an Indiana man and is being used in some kind of a ware house [sic]. That particular part upon which Mr. McKinley stood at the time of the shooting is in our office. We propose to present it to the Field Museum at Chicago. Some newspaper accounts, I know, have had it that this piece of flooring was sent to the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, but that is not true as you may see for yourself.”
     Mr. Harris showed the reporter a square of flooring upon which was marked the fatal spot where the tragedy of September, 1901, took place.
     “There has been a remarkable lack of sentiment, or whatever you may choose to call it, in regard to the Temple of Music,” said Mr. Harris. “Thousands of relic hunters have annoyed us by forcing their way in to see the building, but nobody seems to want to buy the material for either sentimental or practical purposes. In our catalogue we made special mention of the building, and offered to furnish an affidavit with each portion, but there it stands with hardly an offer for any part of it. In view of the eagerness of the average visitor to get a peep at the temple we think this rather strange.”
     Some of the structures have been sold outright and rebuilt in other parts of the country. The agricultural building is now doing service at Adrian, Mich., as a wire mill.
     The principal power house at the fair will be a rolling mill at Carnegie, Pa., and one of the buildings in which the government exhibited the heavy ordnance, near the border of Delaware Park, is now a ware house [sic] at Clarksville, Tenn.
     One of East Aurora’s enterprising citizens bought from the wrecking company the Midway building known as Dreamland and it is now his home in that pretty town.
     One half of the hospital building, to which President McKinley was taken after his death wound, will be shipped to the Pennsylvania coal region to be used as an office. It will probably include the room in which the president lay prior to his removal to the Milburn house.
     Bostock’s animal arena, a circular structure, with a large platform in the centre, was bought for a dance pavilion, to be used in a town of this state.
     So methodical and expert has the wrecking business became [sic] that there is little or no waste in the work of razing. Every nail, screw and bolt is saved, and what is broken in lumber is sold for kindling.
     On what was known to Exposition visitors as the Grand Court, and midway between the Ethnology building and the Triumphal Causeway, the wrecking company has a saw mill [sic] in operation. Timber is here converted into lumber to fill orders, and various other wood material is changed to suit the market.
     Tearing down is a small part of the work of removing an exposition. Preparing the material for purchasers is what takes time and skill. An idea of the enormity of the task may be gained from the following quantities of material which went to make up the Pan-American Exposition:
     Lumber, 33,000,000 feet.
     Structural steel, 1,500 tons.
     Larg-esized [sic] piping, 40 miles.
     Small piping, 20 miles.
     Sewer pipe, 18 miles.
     Steam boilers and engines, [9?],000 horse power.
     Electric globes, 500,000.
     Window sashes, 40,000 square feet.
     Doors, 12,000 square feet.
     Approximately, the structural cost of the exposition was [$8,750,000?], for which the Chicago Wrecking Company paid $132,000 cash. For the Chicago fair of 1893 the same company, then organized for the first time, paid only $80,000, although its cost was over $33,000,000. It will thus be seen that whereas the Buffalo exposition cost about [a?] quarter that of the World’s Fair, the wreckers paid for the Pan-American buildings $52,000 more.
     “We were able to pay more for the Pan-American,” said Mr. Harris, “largely because of our increased experience in wrecking and marketing the material. Since 1893 we have wrecked several big expositions, to say nothing of the numerous large buildings like the Chicago postoffice, the Four Seasons Hotel in the Cumberland mountains which cost $1,000,000, and the Cleveland postoffice. House wrecking on a large scale has become one of the established vocations, and as it grows in importance the greater percentage of the original cost of the structures the wreckers can afford to pay. The more economies they learn by experience the better it will be for their customers.
     “We expect to reck [sic] the World’s Fair now being constructed at St. Louis, and it will be the biggest contract ever undertaken in our line. It is a mistake to suppose that any material used at the Pan-American will go toward building the St. Louis fair. Not a stck [sic] nor a pound from here has been sold for that purpose, and the officials would be very foolish to buy any, as it would at once give the public the impression that the great exposition was to be a secondhand affair.”—Buffalo Express.



top of page