- The bulk of the displays of the Exhibition were housed within the immense Main Building.
- This building took large amounts of raw materials to construct.
- The towers of the Main Building provided great views of Christchurch for visitors to the Exhibition.
Design and Construction
The Main Building was designed by Joseph Clarkson Maddison in his familiar classical style. J. & W. Jamieson were the contractors for the Main Building, which cost around £54,000. It had a frontage of 1310 feet (399 metres) (including the Machinery Hall), which ran parallel to Park Terrace, and measured 370 feet (113 metres) from front to back. It stood on 25,000 piles and used 3,200,000 feet of rimu from a Westland mill.
A feature of the building was the use of stuccoline, a mixture of plaster, tempo and stucco, which gave it its glowing snowy white appearance. It was a large and impressive building that took large amounts of raw materials to build. The construction of the Main Building took:
- 225 tons of galvanised iron for the roof
- 12,500 feet (3,810 metres) of ridging
- between 40 and 50 tons of nails
- 70 tons of paint were used
- The cornices, parapets and pediments were constructed of stamped steel with a total length of 12,000 feet (3,658 metres)
In addition the guttering round the building and between the annexes covered two miles and the huge skylight in the roof covered about 100,000 square feet (9,300 square metres). This skylight featured glass from the glassworks of St. Helens in Lancashire, coincidentally the birth-place of Premier Seddon.
The towers at the main entrance , which stood opposite Kilmore Street, were 160 feet (49 metres) high making them roughly ¾ the height of the Christchurch Cathedral (63 metres or 207 feet high). Each tower had balconies which were 120 feet (37 metres) from the ground. The southern tower contained an electric lift, conveying people to the top of the tower from which could be seen magnificent views of Christchurch and the plains, from the Alps on one side to the ocean on the other.
- Cowan, J. Official record of the New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries held at Christchurch, 1906-7 p. 74
- Shaw, P. "'Supreme in all its towered majesty of white and gold’: The Exhibition Architecture". In J.M. Thomson (Ed.), Farewell colonialism, page 41- 48