This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Only four million dollars wanted to complete the Centennial, Philadelphia's greatest pride. Congress refuses its appropriation; likewise New York, and only Massachusetts and New Jersey mean to do anything of public good will. The latter State has voted $200,000, we believe, in aid of the building. In the meantime, Philadelphia asks of the New York horticulturists what they will do, and they get no answer not even an echo Alas, we fear they never will. New York is so large, it has little or no local interest in its own affairs, and not a particle in that of other cities. As long as it is impossible to maintain a successful horticultural society in New York city, so long is it impossible to expect any help to the meritorious project of Philadelphia centennial horticulture.
In the meantime, the Philadelphia committee have reported; grand ideas are advanced. Progress is prospectively splendid, and the buildings to be erected are fine. Among the plans are a beautiful conservatory for the display of plants, and especially palms and tropical plants. It is to be fitted up with fountains, rock-work, aquariums, hanging-baskets, fern-cases, vases with growing plants, garden statuary and window gardening - not to speak of the necessary settees and grottos, where couples can do their courting quietly and unseen. This chief conservatory is to be seventy-five feet wide, 300 feet long, seventy-five feet high, with greenhouse attached thirty feet wide and ten feet or more high. Likewise, a cold grapery, span-roofed, thirty to forty feet wide and 100 feet long, to exhibit forcing grape growing under glass. Also, fruit-house showing the culture of hardy fruits under glass.
To all which we say, success. Horticulturists will willingly contribute plants and help with advice, counsel and comfort - but won't invest any dollars. Such, we believe, is the state of feeling, as far as we can learn from sources outside of the Centennial City. Philadelphia has already done her utmost. It hardly seems possible to do more. Either the plans must be brought down within the means now in hand or the great Centennial must adjourn sine die. But beyond the immediate influences of Philadelphia interests, no city will contribute a dollar to help add to the glory of a rival.
Since writing our editorial, in April number, the Philadelphians have rallied in force, held an overwhelming meeting; the city has voted 82,000,000 more to the aid of the work, and the prospects now are, beyond a doubt, that the full plans will be consummated. We do not believe any other city in the Union could raise $4,000,000, in so short a time, from local sources only.