Charities 12 (February 6, 1904):126-27.
An Archaeologist will get enough joy out of the fragments of a city wall to repay him for a year's digging and round the inscriptions on the flesh-post of an ancient people he will build up the picture of their life. There is to be a city fragment at the St. Louis Exposition, but of another sort, and of the people who tramp the stretch of its model pavement, look in at the exhibits in its city hall and catch a glimpse of its museum, its railway stations and its playgrounds, social workers should be the ones best fitted to build up from these factors a notion of the possibilities of the city of to-day--of the fair lines and fair living of the city of the future which the promoters of this very interesting feature of the Trans-Mississippi fair will attempt to suggest.
The idea of such a model city is a new idea. It was brought before the American league for Civic Improvement by Albert Kelsey of Philadelphia, and a resolution was passed calling it to the attention of the Exposition authorities as especially appropriate in view of the emphasis which has been placed on the St. Louis fair as an exposition of processes. Clinton Rogers Woodruff of Philadelphia, Charles Zeublin of Chicago, Milo Roy Maltbie of New York, and Mrs. Conde Hamlin of St. Paul were named by the league as a committee of promotion, and Mr. Kelsey was appointed by the Exposition as architect in charge of the general scheme. An area was set aside four blocks in length, running directly south from the main entrance. This has been laid out as a curved street, spreading out into a square at the center, and buildings and ground scheme are appropriate for a town of ten thousand people.
At one end will be a terminal of the inter-mural railway company and a model railway station has been erected by Atlanta, to show that it has really meant reform in this matter of its erstwhile reproach. At the west is the city hall, carrying out the general architectural scheme of the street. The buildings are of imitation red brick with white trimmings and pillars, designed on lines of what has been called Georgian architecture--a souther adaptation of the Colonial. the city hall will be given up largely to foreign exhibits. Mr. Kelsey attended the recent Dresden Municipal Exhibition, at which the cities of Germany showed by charts and models, housing plans, docks, canals, street railways, sanitation, charitable relief and other functions of city government. A number of these exhibits were secured by Mr. Kelsey for St. Louis. Not far from the city hall is to be a model playground, for which Mrs. Hirschfield of New York has arranged. The state of Missouri is to have a school building, Kansas City a casino around a court in which will be shown a model of the city,thirty or forty feet square; Boston a park shelter, in which will be exhibited a model of its metropolitan park system; Dayton an auditorium and model workingmen's dwelling. In all something like twenty cities will participate. Delay and lack of funds from the Exposition authorities militated against a more complete representation. It is still possible than an arcade will be erected for smaller cities if enough apply for space. Perhaps the most comprehensive single exhibit will be the Twin City Municipal Museum erected by Minneapolis and St. Paul. For this museum, Mrs. Hamlin outlined plans which should show the characteristics and some of the more progressive public works carried out by these Minnesota communities. the milling district of Minneapolis will be shown in miniature, and so, too, the public baths of St. Paul, situated as they are on an island in the Mississippi. Of larger municipal significance is to be a model of the elaborate scheme of approaches to the capitol building in St. Paul. Semi-civic undertakings will also be shown--the settlements, associated charities, hospitals and district nursing.
In other words, the model city will range in its exhibits from the ash-cans of the outdoor equipment section to the Civic Pride Monument designed by Massay Rhind for the Central Square.
Those who have watched the development of the idea feel that it is a coherent one. Many things originally contemplated have been omitted because of the delay referred to, but there will be enough, they hold,--enough that is compact and vital and suggestive--to put the idea clearly before people and lead up to a thoroughly comprehensive exhibition within the next few years that will demonstrate broadly the wondrous development of the American city. .