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Photos: Horticultural Hall, Once the Biggest Building in the World

Looking back at the iconic building, 140 years later

On this day, 140 years ago, Philadelphia celebrated the opening of its 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the country's first official World's Fair. From May 10 to November 10, nearly 10 million visitors came to Philly for the extravagant event, which was organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The event was held in Fairmount Park and along the Schuylkill River, with Herman J. Schwarzmann designing the master plan for 27 acres. Some 200 buildings were built on the grounds, though there were five main buildings, including the incredibly grand Horticultural Hall.

In honor of the 140th anniversary of the Centennial Exhibition, behold: A dozen photos, illustrations, and sketches of the iconic building, which was unfortunately destroyed by Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and later demolished.

Fairmount Park

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