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During the summer the chairman of our finance committee was fortunate in arousing the interest of Sir Henry Cole in our exposition. Sir Henry for several years has been closely connected with exhibitions in England and in the countries of Europe and South Africa in which the British Government has participated. He joined our staff early in June as general technical adviser, and brings with him from his large experience a wealth of detailed information covering all phases of exposition preparation and operation which has been and will continue to be invaluable to us.
The time having arrived to take active steps in arousing the interest of foreign nations in our enterprise, Col. J. S. Sewell, with the assistance of Sir Henry Cole, established a branch office in London during the latter part of the summer. From this office close contact can be maintained with European nations, and, through it information in regard to the exposition can be promptly obtained by them or disseminated to them without the long and sometimes interest-killing delays and misunderstandings incident to a trans-Atlantic correspondence.
In conformity with our plans to create in foreign countries an interest in the exposition, and also for the purpose of obtaining first-hand information from exhibitions in operation, some of the officers of your corporation at their own expense, and several members of the staff visited a number of European countries. Through the courtesy of our diplomatic representatives in these countries contact was made with government officials and with the leading men of industry. As a result of the untiring efforts of our representatives in explaining the theme of the exposition and the methods to be adopted in presenting it, indifference, apathy, and even open hostility were overcome and assurance of the will to cooperate with us were given in all cases.
Under date of December 26 the State Department informed us that the Greek Government has passed a resolution to accept the President's invitation to participate in the exposition, and a cablegram recently received from our London office gives the information that Hungary is also accepting. Lord Derby has agreed to act as chairman of the committee responsible for the organization of British participation, and Mr. Henderson, for the British Government, has promised such cooperation as can properly be given in assisting us to obtain exhibits from governmental and other sources, including the loan of the "Rocket." We have assurances in other forms, looking to participation to a degree not yet determined from France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, and Mexico. Conferences have been had with important officials of Japan and Spain.
Mr. Peterson, our vice president, has just returned from a trip, made at his own expense, to present information in regard to our exposition to other European nations, some of which have not yet been directly contacted. The countries visited by him and from which he brings very encouraging reports were Greece, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Mr. Charles T. Atkinson, recently appointed on a diplomatic mission to Siam, has been officially designated as our commissioner and will explain the theme of our exposition to the officials of that country.
As a result of the visits of our various representatives to foreign countries, it appears that in order to obtain participation which may be of any moment, personal contact and personal explanation of our objects and aims are highly desirable. It is believed that in the near future similar contacts should be made with other nations, particularly those in Central and South America.
As a result of the interest shown at several of the foreign exhibitions, it seems desirable that European participation should not take the form of individual buildings, but that a very much more attractive, effective, and interesting display could be made if an area were set aside in which each of the participating nations of Europe may erect a group of buildings of a medieval type, in which their exhibits can be shown and in which the attendants may be dressed in the native costume. This idea has been suggested to several foreign nations and has been quite enthusiastically received. If this scheme is carried out it will permit participation at a considerably reduced cost under that which would be necessary for individual buildings. National pavilions, however, have not been prohibited.
The foreign nationalities groups under the chairmanship of Major Streyckmans continue their active interest in the exposition. Excellent work has been done by the members of these groups and it is believed that their efforts in the future will be even more effective than in the past.
On June 20 the President approved a joint resolution of the Congress of the United States which authorized and requested him to appoint a commission to investigate and report to him for transmission to the Congress their conclusions and recommendations with reference to suitable representation at and participation in a century of progress exposition on the part of the Government of the United States and its various departments and activities.
Pursuant to this resolution, a commission was appointed consisting of Mr. William R. Castle, Assistant Secretary of State; Dr. Julius Klein, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture; and Mr. R. W. Dunlap, Assistant Secretary of Commerce. The full commission, Assistant Secretary Young acting for Mr. Dunlap, visited Chicago and evinced much interest in our plans. Its members were quite complimentary in their comments on the progress that had been made.
On December 19 the President transmitted the report of this commission to the Congress, commending its favorable consideration to the end that legislation may be enacted to authorize an appropriation of $1,725,000 for the expenses incident to Federal representation and participation in the exposition.
The report recommends that of the above amount $550,000 may be expended for the erection of a building or a group of buildings and/or for the rental of space, and further that the commission in charge of Federal exhibits may contract with the Exposition Corporation for the design and erection of the building or buildings. The appropriation is recommended to be made in a lump sum, leaving to the commission the allotment to the various departments and independent Government establishments in such amounts as it may deem desirable. The proposed act accompanying the report gives wide latitude to the commission and is satisfactory.
During the month of April Mr. Peterson accompanied a group consisting of members of the Chicago Association of Commerce on a "good-will" trip through some of the Southern States. At each one of the gatherings held during this trip the plans for the 1933 exposition were explained and, as a result, influential bodies in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri have indicated their interest in our work and in some cases official inquiries have been made in regard to State participation. Contacts have also been made, either through officials or commercial bodies, with Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, Kentucky, Maine, and Connecticut.
It had been at first intended to make no special effort to urge State participation, as it was believed that the dissemination of the knowledge of our plans would induce various States to take the initiative.
In view, however, of the fact that a very large majority of the States will have their legislative meetings in January of 1931, and that of this number all but a few will have no regular meetings for the next two years, it was felt that some definite action was advisable. A pamphlet has been prepared giving in brief the important matters connected with the exposition and, including in a more detailed manner, the subject of State participation. This pamphlet has been sent to the governor of each one of the States and Territories of the Union as an inclosure to a letter from you specifically inviting participation in our celebration. This pamphlet is attached as an appendix to this report. It is hoped that by this means and by news releases appearing at about the same time sufficient interest will be aroused to at least induce further inquiry.
It is anticipated that, following the receipt of the invitation, various States may send commissions or delegates to Chicago to investigate conditions, or we may be called upon to send some one to them to explain our plans. Steps are being taken to arrange for the reception of such committees or to meet other demands that may be made.
After careful consideration the conclusion has been reached that the erection of an individual building for each participating State is not desirable. It is felt that the close relation between the National and the State Governments can best be expressed by a States building, or buildings, located in close proximity to the Federal building. This will also typify the increased feeling of loyalty of the citizens to the Union. In a building of this type each State can take as large a section as it desires or as its appropriation will permit with a resultant economy in funds as compared to the individual State building.
Mr. M. M. Tveter, assistant comptroller, a member of our staff, is in charge of our financial work, under the general supervision of the comptroller.
The two general principles laid down to be followed in our preexposition program are, to make no commitments beyond the funds actually available, and to so conduct the work that if no more money is received we shall still be able to construct an attractive exposition, true to our theme, complete in all details, and ready to open in the late spring or early summer of 1933.
In order that we may be sure that these principles are not departed from, a careful study has been made of all foreseen expenditures and a budget has been prepared in which these expenditures are so adjusted as not to exceed the funds in sight. An accurate system of budget control has also been established which will prevent any excessive or unauthorized commitments. In determining the moneys available for this budget there have been added to the $10,000,000 bond issue, certain commitments which we feel are beyond doubt, but no account has been taken of receipts from rental of space in exhibition building, from concessions, or from any promised participation unless made by a responsible officer of an organization, in whom we have complete confidence.
The department of works is under the charge of Mr. D. H. Burnham as director, assisted by Mr. C. W. Farrier as assistant director.
Under our agreement with the architectural commission, individual buildings, as their construction is authorized, are turned over to one of the members of the commission for study and design. These sketch designs when approved by the commission are sent to our department of works, which prepares detailed plans and specifications, and arranges for the construction of the building by contract. This procedure requires a fairly large force of designers and draftsmen under Mr. Burnham but in the end is far more economical than it would be to have the detailed work done by the various architects.
In order that the landscaping of the grounds shall be properly cared for and be in harmony with the general architectural scheme, Mr. Ferruccio Vitale, a nationally known landscape architect, has been added to the architectural commission.
It is gratifying to be able to report that our construction program is in excellent shape.
Except for a few finishing touches, the Administration Building is completed, and, as previously stated, is now occupied by the administration force under the
The replica of old Fort Dearborn is finished and is attracting much interest. The Transportation Building with its suspended dome will be available for use in the early spring. Its prefair use by certain national organizations under terms, which will not involve us in additional expense, is being contemplated.
The outer drive between Grant Park and the pumping station at Thirtyninth Street will eventually be within the exposition grounds and consequently will not be available for public traffic. To provide for this, our agreement with the South Park Commissions required us to build a road extending from Sixteenth Street to Thirty-ninth Street and to be entirely outside the exposition grounds. A large part of this road is already in use.
The group of buildings to house the electrical exhibits and those of its allied industries, communication and radio, will under the architectural plan, be located near the southern end of the existing island. The plans and specifications for this group are practically completed and bids for construction probably will be invited about the middle of February.
Mr. Paul Cret has completed his sketch designs for one of the general exhibit buildings which will be placed on the mainland across the lagoon from the electrical group. We should be in a position to ask for bids on this building in March. Studies have been in progress for several months covering such matters as sewage, water supply, electrical service, and other utilities. These studies have been made by the department of works in collaboration with consulting firms and others who are especially equipped by training and experience to assit in arriving at satisfactory and economical solutions.
The illumination of the grounds of the exposition is a matter which requires much study in order that it shall be effective and spectacular and at the same time be accomplished at a reasonable cost. We are therefore extremely fortunate in having the hearty cooperation of the Commonwealth Edison Co. whose vice president Mr. E. W. Lloyd heads our electrical and illuminating committee.
A CENTURY OF PROGRESS
Through Mr. Lloyd we will be able to obtain the advice of the foremost illuminating engineers in the country, and with the assistance of the experts of the Commonwealth Edison Co., we are assured that our electrical work will be done in the most efficient manner and with the least practical expenditure of funds.
A considerable amount of free fill has been placed in the vicinity of the Administration Building and the grounds around that building have been partly finished to the final grade. The foundation of the roadway on the island in process of construction is in connection with additional free fill being placed there.
The architectural committee has evolved a flexible building and ground layout whereby exhibit space may be made promptly available as fast as the need for it arises without danger of building beyond the limit of final needs.
The traffic problem is one which requires careful study to the end that the influx of visitors during the period of the exposition may not congest traffic facilities for those whose daily business requires them to travel to and from the city.
To find a solution to this important problem a committee has been appointed, under the chairmanship of Mr. Sidney Gorham, composed of officials from the various utilities concerned, and including the leading traffic experts of the city and country.
Through subcommittees various allied questions are being studied, such as terminals for surface, elevated, and railroad lines, and for busses, taxicabs, and automobiles; highways routes to and through the city; tourist camps and automobile parking areas; regulation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic; notel and boarding-house accommodations.
The importance of this problem and its many interesting features have led the War Department and General Parker, commanding the Sixth Corps Area, to detail an officer to participate in the solution for the sake of the valuable experience to be gained.
The problem is in process of solution with every indication that with the hearty cooperation of all concerned and tne harmonious working of the committee and its subcommittees the final outcome will be satisfactory.
Considerable study has been given to traffic within the grounds with equally satisfactory results.
The convention bureau of the Association of Commerce has been active in encouraging numerous conventions to meet in Chicago in 1933.
One of the objections which has been offered to Chicago as a meeting place for conventions in that year was the feeling that hotel accommodations would not be sufficient to take care of the large number of visitors from outside the metropolitan limits. It now appears from our studies on this subject and from representations made by officials of the hotel associations that there should be ample accommodation for all those who may wish to come. The Chicago Association of Commerce reports that "exclusive of visitors who will reside with relations here Chicago, will be able to take care of more than 400,000 additional persons daily." This matter will receive further study to the end that even greater demands upon the hospitality of the city may be satisfied.
Leading scientists of all nations will be invited to participate in a congress under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This gathering will undoubtedly record in its proceedings a complete and accurate summary of the advance of science in all of its branches up to the time of its meeting.
Inquiries which have been received indicate that the number of congresses or conventions which may be held in Chicago in 1933 will be large. According to the association of commerce, "already 132 trade and fraternal organizations have signified their intention to make the Century of Progress their 1933 meeting place." In addition, a large number have notified us direct of their desire to meet here.
In accordance with the principles governing our work no active steps are being taken to induce conventions to come to Chicago during the exposition, but all who make inquiry are informed that they will be welcomed. While no promises of special privileges or accommodations within the grounds are being made, every possible courtesy will be extended to them.
The work of publicizing the exposition has increased steadily in proportion to the development of other activities. The general object in view is to bring the attention of the general public to the exposition and to inform it as to its progress, in such a manner that the interest so created will be on a rising curve, reaching its peak a short time before the opening.
In keeping with the theme of our exposition the central feature will be a hall of science, in which will be found exhibits demonstrating the important scientific discoveries and how they were made. These exhibits will be placed in orderly sequence so that the visitor can see for himself the step-by-step development in each branch of science. The value of the scientific discoveries to industry will be shown by collective exhibits illustrating the changes in each participating industry which have taken place in the past century and how these changes have been dependent upon the adaptation of scientific discoveries.
These scientific, and what might be termed "applied science" exhibits, will be based so far as practicable upon the report of the science advisory committee of the National Research Council.
A second class of industrial exhibits will show the present state of each industry by displays of individual producers or manufacturers.
It is realized that a presentation of the changes in the past century can not well be made without the inclusion of the developments in social relations as well as in pure science. We have therefore requested the Social Science Research Council, which holds the same relation to social science activities as the National Research Council does to matters of pure and applied science, to study the subject and present to us their conclusions as to what we might do along these lines.
The work of organizing a social-science exhibit is going ahead under competent leadership and with the advice of the Social Science Research Council.
Chicago owes its growth largely to agricultural and allied industries, and as our celebration was inaugurated to commemorate the one hundredth birthday of Chicago as a municipality, it would be inconsistent if a great deal of attention were not paid to the farmer and his problems.
The work of classifying and arranging for exhibits under the heads mentioned is progressing steadily. The pure-science group, under Dr. Henry Crew, has studied the reports of the science advisory committee, and with the aid of members of that body is gathering information in regard to the existence and location of objects and apparatus which may be useful to us. Several typical exhibit bays are in process of formation. These will give us an opportunity for studying arrangement and lighting and of determining what interest they create so we may be sure we are proceeding along satisfactory lines.
A tentative classification of probable collective and individual industrial exhibits has been prepared. From this classification the probable amount of space which may be required has been estimated and a proposed building program projected in accordance therewith Many contacts have been made with industrial groups and with individuals, these contacts being the result of initiation on their part as it is not the policy of the exposition to importune exhibitors to participate.
A large number of those engaged in agriculture and allied industries has indicated their desire to participate. In this work we are keeping in close touch with Dr. E. A. Woods, of the Department of Agriculture, who, due to his interest in our work and his relation to Federal and State agricultural activities, is in an excellent position to give us valuable aid.
Twenty-two industries as groups and 39 separate corporations have given assurances that they will participate in the exposition to a total amount of more than $3,000,000. In addition, contacts with 47 industrial groups and 50 corporations have indicated strong interest in our plans, and 28 industries and 15 corporations have made inquiries.