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The Grounds

Central Terrace

The Central Terrace

The Bridge

The Bridge

The site of the 1887 Piedmont Exposition, located in present day Midtown Atlanta, was an instinctive choice to be the grounds of the Cotton States and International Exposition. The grounds included more than 185 acres, excavated to include a rolling landscape 1,000 feet above sea level, and a man-made lake dubbed Clara Meer. Newly laid railroad tracks from the Southern Rail Line transported supplies and visitors directly to the exposition. The Exhibition Buildings were almost all painted gray with white trim and green shingled roofs, excluding the Forestry Building (made of wood) and the Women’s Building and Fine Arts Building (which were covered in plaster). Walkways were made of crushed limestone and the grounds included shrubs, man-made lakes, fountains, and statues. With amost every structure covered in strings of electric lights and the site' electric foundation displays, the design for the exposition grounds were meant to emulate the classic architecture of the past while dazzling visitors with the spectacle of the new.