March 29, 2014

One of the most enduring images of the Panorama shows Dyche and assistants posed with “mountain” made of crates and a few taxidermied specimens, prior to the 1893 World’s Fair. We might have a new appreciation for that image now that a structural engineer has crawled into the tight spaces beneath the Panorama’s mountains and rock outcroppings.

Last week, Al Hodson, a historic structures engineer, donned the white Tyvek suit to squeeze behind the mountains, walls and outcroppings of the Panorama to examine the structural integrity of the exhibit. And what he found surprised him.

“One of the most interesting things I have seen in the Panorama is the way it was built using repurposed lumber,” said Al. “They used old crates instead of...

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