Japanese Buildings
Philadelphia 1876 Centennial Exhibition



Photo: Leslie, Frank, Historical Register of the United States Centennial Exposition. New York: Frank Leslie’s Publishing House, 1876.






The Japanese government sent pre-fabricated parts for the construction of two buildings, as well as their own workmen. The Japanese builders were jeered at first by onlookers, but the buildings became greatly admired and became an influence on American domestic architecture. Frank Furness, in particular, was greatly interested in the buildings’ complex joinery and elongated rooflines. Furness even befriended a painter from the Japanese delegation. Frank Lloyd Wright was another architect who was influenced by Japanese architecture seen at world fairs.

 

For information about the 1876 Centennial Exhibition and sources/reference materials, see the Centennial overview.