long, and its colossal proportions provided the largest unobstructed floor area of any building in history—an ideal setting in which to show the world the massive engines, transformers, dynamos, and other wonders of the age. The 20 prefabricated wrought-iron trusses of the main span comprised two half-arches, hinged at their meeting point 143 feet (45 meters) above the floor. They curved and tapered to a slender wedgelike base, where their loads were distributed to the ground through a hinged joint. The apparent lightness with which they touched the ground defied the conventional, rational notion that the base was the principal load-bearing component of any structure; here that role was seemingly reversed. The hinges allowed small movements between the foot of the frames and the foundation but made the arches statically determinate. Thus, stresses and reactions at the supports could be calculated beforehand and were only slightly influenced by movements of the supports or thermally induced dimensional variations.

The iron frame of the galerie was exposed at each end in a frank display of its construction system. The walls were generally glazed, in part with colored glass. Paintings, mosaic, and ceramic bricks also formed part of the cladding. Elevated tracks on each side of the long axis carried mobile walkways above the exhibition space, allowing visitors to travel in carriages and to look down on the machines. The interior was lit by electric lights, invented only some seven years earlier. The galerie was more than just a place for displaying machinery; it was in itself, as one historian has observed, an “exhibiting machine.” It was enlarged for the 1900 Paris Exposition but demolished in 1910, because (so the reason was given) it spoiled the view of the church of Les Invalides. By then, the three-hinged arch was in wide use.

See also

Crystal Palace; Eiffel Tower

Further reading

Mainstone, Rowland. 1975. Developments in Structural Form. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Peters, Tom F. 1996. Building the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Steiner, Frances H. 1984. French Iron Architecture. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press.

Garden city idea

The garden city idea was conceived in late-nineteenth-century Britain by London-born stenographer and inventor Ebenezer Howard (1850–1928). A garden city movement emerged, inspired by his seminal text Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (1898), revised as Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902), and by the example of on-the-ground models. The movement supported Howard’s objectives of improved residential environments and social opportunity. It made an enduring contribution to international planning thought by fostering the growth of planned residential communities and shaping ideas about the form and size of cities and towns.

The process of industrialization placed immense pressure on the physical resources of cities while at the same time depleting the agrarian workforce. Manufacturing processes and products took precedence over workers’ needs. Employees toiled long hours and lived in overcrowded, often degraded, accommodations close to their workplace. Parks and gardens—green spaces—were rare, so there was little escape from industrial din and pollution. Social communication waned; crime and immorality increased.

For much of the nineteenth century, the social condition and the issue of land reform occupied reformers, economists, and intellectuals in Britain and elsewhere. In an earnest attempt to find a way forward, societies, organizations, and ameliorative action groups were formed; meetings and debates held; publications released; and theories and schemes advanced. Industrialists made practical efforts to improve employees’ working and living conditions. Well-known ventures in England included Lever Brothers’ soap factory at Port Sunlight, Liverpool (1888), and the Cadbury chocolate-making enterprise at Bournville, Birmingham (1879). Elsewhere there was Agneta Park near Delft, Holland, and industrial villages outside Noisiel, France, Essen, Germany, and in the United States at Lowell, Massachusetts.

Ebenezer Howard drew from a full larder of antecedents in devising his unique solution to urban disorder and misery. The answer was “Garden City,” a town located in a rural setting but presenting all urban functions and services, thus combining the advantages of both town and country life. His scheme