Temple of Music


Temple of Music

The Temple of Music was a concert hall and auditorium built for the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo, New York. It was there that U.S. President William McKinley was assassinated, on September 6, 1901. The hall was demolished following the fair.

The Building

The Temple of Music was designed by the architect, August C. Esenwein and James A. Johnson, for the Pan-American Exhibition, to function as a concert hall. It also served as a ceremonial stage. Built at what was then a staggering cost of $85,000, for a building destined for demolition after several months (well over $1,500,000 in 2008 dollars), it was an eclectic combination of various architectural styles. Its major influence was the Italian Renaissance style, and was in compliance with the Exposition's Board of Architects overall plan for the exhibition which was called the "Free Renaissance" style. Like most of the major structures at this World Fair, the Temple of Music was extensively electrified, both internally and on its exterior.

The Style

The Temple's dome rose 180 feet (54.86 m) above the ground floor and the hall itself could seat over 2000 people. According to Chuck LaChiusa, a Buffalo city native and City Honors English Teacher, "The building was colored in light yellows, with gold and red trimmings, and the panels in the dome were in light blue, producing an extremely beautiful effect." [ [http://www.buffaloah.com/a/archs/ej/dem/temple.html Temple of Music ] ] Four ornate sculptures, executed by Isodore Konti, graced the four entrance portals into the building, representing sacred music, lyric music, music of the dance, and heroic music. The Italian Renaissance style portrays the enlightenment of mind and spirit.The style made the Temple greatly appealing because of its ability to express a new sense of light and a very spacious atmosphere. Although the exterior was a great sight, the [http://www.buffaloah.com/a/archs/ej/dem/tempmus2.jpginterior] was no worse. Aside from the fact that the auditorium could seat over 2000 people, in the center of the stage is one of the largest pipe organs ever built in the United States. Here are some examples and drawings of the more classic Italian Renaissance architectures. The main purpose of the Renaissance is the revival of classic Rome. By studying works such as Pantheon and the Colosseum, architects gained a better understanding of the style and hoped to bring the connection between the building and emotions/reason. The buildings are considered a unit of measurement based on the human scale and characterized by a harminous form."

The Creator

August Esenwein was born in Esenwein-Virnsberg, in the Kingdom of Wuertemburg, South Germany on 1856. He and his parents moved to the United States in 1861 for ten years but then moved back to Germany where August went to private elementary schools then the University of Stuttgart for five years. He studied architecture and engineering there and after graduation, moved to Paris where he worked as a draughtsman [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draughtsman] .After working in Paris for two years, Esenwein moved to Buffalo to continue his draughtsman career until he joined a competition for design for the Pan-American Exposition. Obtaining first place, his design for the Temple was to be used for the Exposition. After winning the competition and satisfied with the work, he pursued a career in architecture and built three more buildings afterwards; the Administration Building, Alt Nurnberg, and the brick-art gallery. Esenwein was also a member of the Pan-American Board of Architects (a Board of Buffalo's finest architects) [http://www.buffaloah.com/h/panam/panwho/panwho.html] .

The Assassination

Although the Temple of Music was one of the most extravagant sights at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, it is mostly remembered because of the infamous assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. President McKinley delivered a speech on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5. The following day while greeting the public, Leon Czolgosz shot the President. McKinley died a week later. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McKinley#Assassination]

Footnotes

References

* [http://www4.bfn.org/bah/a/archs/ej/ej.html#August Buffalo as an Architctural Museum: August Esenwein (1856-1926)]
* [http://www.buffaloah.com/a/archs/ej/ej.html Buffalo as an Architctural Museum: Esenwein & Johnson in Buffalo, NY]
* [http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/exhibits/panam/music/temple/templetext.html Music and Musicians at the Pan-American Exposition: The Temple of Music]


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