Floor Plan and Section, 1890. (from MIT)
Paul V Galvin Library: The book of the Fair
For Sophia’s building, Mrs. Palmer had invited prominent women to donate architectural elements to adorn the building. Mrs. Palmer believed the building would be better with these donations. Sophia disagreed. A mishmash of elements would dilute her vision, her concept and overall design aesthetic. As the doors, window grilles, columns, wood paneling, balustrades, slabs of onyx and black marble, granite steps, sculpted figures, and tapestries came pouring in, Sophia turned each one down. This hurt the feelings of the high-society donors, which didn’t sit very well with Mrs. Palmer. Sophia explained to Mrs. Palmer her schematic program for the structure -- the exterior and interior -- and why these random donated elements would not work. But Mrs. Palmer wouldn’t hear of it. She fired Sophia from the project and reassigned the final decoration to Candace Wheeler.
(top image from Penn Libraries.)