A Dreamland at the 1901 Buffalo World’s Fair

Reconstruction of the entrance to Dreamland from the 1901 World's Fair

It really jumps out at you as you drive down Forest Ave, Buffalo NY. Mostly because you’re not really expecting to see the gigantic head of a woman attached to a building.

After the Pan-American Exposition ended in November, 1901, it was almost all destroyed. Only one building remains. And then, in addition to that, there’s this head.

The Midway (the amusement section) was in the north-west corner of the Fair. One of the attractions was Dreamland, described in the Official Catalogue and Guide Book to the Pan-American Exposition (with Maps) thusly:

At the west end of the Midway is the building occupied by Dreamland, or the Mirror Maze. Behind mirrors is a large amount of fun for those who attempt to explore its recesses. No illusion on the Midway is more confusing and amusing.

What you see at 459 Forest Ave is a small reconstruction of the entranceway to Dreamland. Here’s the original (complete with people so you can get a feel for how much bigger the original was):


The building on which the reconstruction (I’m not going to call it a replica because it looks quite different) stands is an annex to the Buffalo History Museum housing an exhibition on the Pan-American Exposition.

Here’s something really important: you need to make an appointment to visit. I apparently didn’t read this part of the Buffalo History Museum website (it’s pretty clear, so more fool me) so I didn’t get to see it. Completely my fault. But nonetheless: bah!

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

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