I spent more than I normally do to buy this postcard outright off of eBay recently–it’s the Mississippi Building at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, and as you can see, at least from this vantage point, it’s a pretty good imitation of Beauvoir. The card itself is also interesting, as it’s written in French and mailed to the Seine in France. I know I just went to France, but that doesn’t mean I understand the note–who can translate for us?
According to Terry’s 1904 World’s Fair Page, where you can find pictures and information about all the buildings at the Fair:
The structure faced Commonwealth Boulevard and had for neighbors the Iowa, New Jersey and Indian Territory buildings. Sentiment having guided the commissioners in designing the State building, the people of Mississippi foresaw an opportunity to bring before the World’s Fair visitors their store of historic treasures. The interior had been converted into a veritable museum of the Southland. Household articles loaned by the widow of the President of the Confederacy, heirlooms which had been in the Davis family for a hundred years prior to the Civil War, and rare bits of furniture, important because of their connection with the “lost cause,” furnished the building. Visitors found each room furnished just as the original was before the death of Mr. Davis, and most of the furniture was that used for years by the family. The library, bedroom and dining hall were almost intact, every article of silverware and crockery having been brought from “Beauvoir.”
I can’t find this verified online, but I remember reading, I think in the recent Theodore Link exhibit brochure, that Link was the architect of this reconstructed Beauvoir. This makes sense, if true, because as you recall, Link was the architect of the recently completed Mississippi State Capitol and he lived in St. Louis. “Beauvoir II” wasn’t the only building Link worked on at the Fair–a much grander display of his talents was the Palace of Mines and Metallurgy, whose style was not named in the Fair booklet but was described as being “a distinct departure from that of the other buildings.”
05-07-2013 the Biloxi Daily Herald listed J. F. Barnes as the Contractor for the Mississippi Building at the fair. Barnes might have come into this gig due to his connections with the structures architect, Theo. Link. Barnes time spent working on the New Capitol would have brought him into contact with Link.
Categories: Architectural Research