The Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition opened on the 1st May 1851; the construction time was only eight months. It was a fantastic success with 2,444,241 public visitors, slightly more than the total population of the city at the time (estimated at 2,350,000). The name Crystal Palace was created by the general public during the exhibition period and remained associated with the building when it was later sold.
Figure 3: The exhibition in full swing
After the exhibition, the building was sold to a private company and moved from its location in Hyde Park to a new site in the South of London. The structure was relocated to a hill in the suburb of Sydenham as a venue for other shows and exhibitions.
Figure 4: The rebuilt Crystal Palace in Sydenham (now known as Crystal Palace)
Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by fire on the 5th December 1936; incidentally, an event witnessed by my mother, see Figure 5. As Sir Winston Churchill observed: "This is the end of an age".
Figure 5: The Crystal Palace on fire
To appreciate the significance of this building, the suburb it was located into, the local football club and the parkland that housed the recycled building all retain the name "Crystal Palace".