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Point 1: United States Government Building

Architect: Howard & Galloway, Supervising Architects/ John Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect of the Treasury
Funded By: United States government
On Site Now: Central Plaza (Red Square)
The enormous Government Building was the crowning building at the A-Y-P, a font of knowledge, wisdom, and patriotism whose presence gave the fair substantial balast. The Departments of State, Treasury, War, Justice, Post Office, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce and Labor all had display space in the Government Building, as did the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum. A mint struck commemorative medals, which were then sold by private concessionaires. A guard force protected the exhibits around the clock, at night carrying side arms. The building was open from 9 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. A fisheries exhibit occupied a separate building that was linked to the main Government Building by an enclosed passage. Among the hundreds of thousands of items displayed in the Government Building were a desk on which a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence was written, George Washington's eyeglasses, various Congressional war and peace medals, facsimiles of many important documents, a knife that had cut over $5 billion worth of paper currency over its time in use, melting furnaces and machinery for coining money, a printing press in operation, an assay office, model ships, marine hospital equipment, a model operating room with full-sized wax figures, an army wagon used in Sherman's march to the sea, many guns, portraits and letters signed by presidents and other statesmen, a functioning model post office, a lithographic printing press on which three-color maps of Seattle were printed, the original Northern Pacific Railroad mortgage secured by its federal land grant, a rural schools exhibit, two large panoramas representing Yellowstone Falls and Crater lake, a large glass weather map, 650 specimens of commercial apple varieties, working plans for Pacific Coast model farms, a refrigerator case stocked with slaughtered animals demonstrating the importance of rigid inspection during cattle slaughter, samples of tissue affected with tuberculosis, giant models of crop-damaging insects, a model of an irrigated farm, a public roads exhibit, many lighthouse lenses and an operational lighthouse, model locomotives, relics from Catholic missions in California, a large Mormon Church exhibit, a large exhibit documenting the history of photography.

The Government Building was demolished after the fair.

| Next Point > Point 1 of 17

United States Government Building and Geyser Basin, A-Y-P Exposition, Seattle, 1909
Photo by Frank Nowell, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. Nowell x2302, Image No. AYP563)

Site of United States Government Building during 1909 A-Y-P Exposition, Central Plaza (Red Square), UW Campus, Seattle, June 27, 2008
HistoryLink.org photo by Paula Becker

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