Our friends the Directors of the New York Crystal Paiace, who have so ostentatiously put themselves forward as the sole Representatives of American Industry, appear to have but little suitable notions of their heavy responsibility. We have made a visit to Reservoir Square, and were disappointed at beholding the building in so backward a state, nor does there seem to be much inclination to carry it on with a proper vigor. Only a few columns have been reared, and there are both a numerica1 deficiency of workmen and very little material on the ground. We would advise Mr. Sedgwick and his coadjutors to evince more energy, or else we are confident the Crystal Pa lace will never he completed at the specified time. The frost has already set in and from now until the following spring not much can be done. How long, we would ask Mr. Sedgwick, will there then be to erect the building 1 Not two months, and not only to erect it, but to have every thing prepared and arranged for exhibition. According to their present manner of working, they will require at least t welve months instead of until May, to get it complete. Upon the whole we are fearful that the affair will turn out a failure; nothing has been done on a scale commensurate with the proposed objects — The building, with regard 1o size, will evidently be ridiculously small, and Jf only one half of the quantity of articles are sent that have been expected, there will not be room lor them, A similar petty spirit appears to guide the Directors in. other matters, and already it has set itself up antagonistic to the interests of private individuals in the city. Instead of being what it was proposed to be— an Industrial Exhibition similar to that in London, lor the encouragement of manufactures and trade, it is diminishing already into a mercenary speculation, and the objects lost in gratifying the whims and pandering to the views of an interested clique. Unless some change is made, we doubt much whether it will not turn out a failure, for at present there is not that public spirit exhibited by the Directors which we had hoped to have seen evinced. Our character as a nation depends upon their management of the concern.
This article was originally published with the title "The New Crystal Palace" in Scientific American 8, 15, 114 (December 1852)