The End of the Spanish American War: The Court of Fountains
The Third World’s fair was held in Buffalo, New York in 1901, shortly after the ending of the Spanish-American War. This time frame marked the beginning of the United States as an international world power, and the World’s Fair gave this legitimacy. The location was chose due to the nearness of Niagara Falls to Buffalo. The fair milked this natural water feature for everything it was worth. The Westinghouse Company provided the generators that harnessed the water for the fountains, as they had done in Chicago. The exposition was a court of fountains making up the center of the scheme, designed in the Spanish Renaissance style. Karl Bitter sculpted fountains that ranged in ornamentation with themes based on natural resources, mans relationship with nature, and designs to celebrate the achievements of the nation’s achievements. The Electric Tower, a forty foot monument at the head of the court, was dedicated to the great waterways, byways, and the power of Niagara Falls. Sculptor Herbert Adams provided a statue called “the Goddess of Light” for the peak of this structure. Eleven thousand gallons of water per minute flowed from the base of this fountain, flowing over 70 feet, through a series of ponds and edges, before it falls into a reflecting pool. Groups of statuary, designed by George Gray Barnard, flanked the cascade of water, symbolizing the significance of the waters for both the Indian and White man.