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Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909) -- A Tour of Selected Buildings Essay 8678

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This is a "Now and Then" tour of selected exhibit buildings at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held in 1909 on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The buildings included in the tour include most of those funded by the federal government and by the four Washington counties (Chehalis, King, Spokane, and Yakima) that erected buildings at the fair.  This tour also includes the Washington Building (an important gathering place for large receptions) and the New York Building (where most of the fair's important banquets were held).  This tour was written by Alan Stein and Paula Becker with assistance from Jennifer Ott, and curated by Paula Becker. Map by Marie McCaffrey.  Preparation of this feature was made possible by the Washington Humanities Commission.

The A-Y-P Exposition took place between June 1 and October 16, 1909, drawing more than three million people. Visitors came from around the state, the nation, and the world to view hundreds of educational exhibits, stroll the lushly manicured grounds, and be entertained on the Pay Streak midway, while Seattle promoted itself as a gateway to the rich resources of Alaska, the Yukon, and Asia.

The Washington State Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Commission, appointed by Governor Albert E. Mead (1861-1909), facilitated the participation of Washington's towns and counties in the A-Y-P. Seven commissioners representing each section of the state operated under an enabling act that also directed all state bureaus, departments, and institutions to cooperate with the commission.

Many Washington communities formed committees of their own to organize their participation in the fair. They produced displays of agricultural products, amassed examples of their children's educational work, and assembled historical artifacts that told their town's story. These towns, cities, and counties were honored with designated Special Days during the Exposition, and hundreds or even thousands of community members often traveled to the fair together by chartered train or boat to celebrate, enjoy the fair, and promote the benefits of their own part of Washington.

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Special Suite: A-Y-P Exposition |

Related Topics: Buildings | Fairs & Festivals |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

This essay made possible by:
4Culture King County Lodging Tax
Washington Humanities Council
Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development

Aerial view of the A-Y-P Exposition looking toward Mt. Rainier, Seattle, 1909
Photo by Frank Nowell, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. Nowell x1040a, Image No. AYP347)

Central Plaza (Red Square) on University of Washington campus, with view of Mt. Rainier, Seattle, June 27, 2008 photo by Paula Becker

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