Imagining the Pan-American Exposition
Pulp Fiction Collection
UB 101 Course
Jesse (TV show)
PAN AM 2001
Pan-American Exposition 1901
The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
The White House Millennium Council
Imagining the Pan-American
Collaborative project employs digital arts to recreate and reinterpret epochal event.
BY PATRICK KLINCK
ROSSING THE TRIUMPHAL BRIDGE AT THE ENTRANCE to the Pan-American Exposition of 1901, with its colossal columns and oversized statuary, you can't help feeling puny. This place was seemingly built for giants. Traversing the grounds, you see grand, imperial monuments, arches, rotundas, spires, rippling banners and rainbows of color in every direction. In the distance, lording over the scene, is the imposing, nearly 400-foot-tall Electric Tower.
You are drawn there ... you rise, fly over the Court of Fountains, above roof gardens and sky-high colonnades, come face to face with the tower's "Goddess of Light," before you circle the campanile-like structure, then drift back to ground level, lighting on the steps of the ill-fated, yet spectacular, Temple of Music.
Of course, it's not 1901, and, no, you're not dreaming. It's 100 years later and you're on the UB North (Amherst) Campus, navigating through a virtual, 3-D model of the Pan-Am. As you read these words, a team of university students, instructors and local consultants is at work bringing this vision to reality. If all goes as planned, it could become one of the centerpieces of a community-wide effort to commemorate the centennial of Buffalo's naissance de siecle exposition, an effort that's being called Pan-Am 2001.