The Crystal Palace Essay

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The Crystal Palace

During the 1800’s Great Britain’s empire stretched around the world, and with raw materials easily available to them this way, they inevitably began refining and manufacturing all stages of many new machines and other goods, distributing locally and globally. However, despite being the central ‘workshop of the world,’ Britain was not producing the highest quality of merchandise. When comparing factory-made products made in England to surrounding countries, most notably France, those products could not compare as far as craftsmanship and sometimes, simply innovation. It was suggested by Prince Albert that England host a sort of free-for-all technological exposition to bring in outside crafts into the country and also
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However, there were many that were opposed to the plan. In general, foreign imports coming in such great quantities could undermine British industry. More specifically, the site itself was questioned. Though the park offered enough space, the British were very protective of their parks “The Parks committee thought that the fair would lower property values of the highest portion of town, as well as permanently “disfigure” the natural area”. (1) Amongst the criticisms, the committee still had to plan a structure to hold the event. “The idea was to incorporate a building that could be easily be built and taken down both constructively and economically. Most ideas involved a long, one-story building made of brick. The problem was that it looked far too solid difficult to remove later and it might be even harder to light- not to mention that it probably could not be built in time. Further debates and redrafting delayed the project even further.” (1)

Joseph Paxton, a prominent garden-architect, working in conjunction with engineers Fox and Henderson Paxton submitted their idea. Although their design was entered late it was almost instantly adopted. It was so cost-effective; the fair’s planning committee had to accept his proposal. The overall design resembled a greenhouse, as he had grown
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