Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace,

building designed by Sir Joseph PaxtonPaxton, Sir Joseph,
1803–65, English architect, noted for his use of glass and iron in a proto-modern manner. Beginning his career as a gardener and estate manager, he then built two greenhouses at Chatsworth, Derbyshire, for the duke of Devonshire.
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 and erected in Hyde Park, London, for the Great Exhibition in 1851. In 1854 it was removed to Sydenham, where, until its damage by fire in 1936, it housed a museum of sculpture, pictures, and architecture and was used for concerts. In 1941 its demolition was completed because it served as a guide to enemy bombing planes. The building was constructed of iron, glass, and laminated wood. One of the most significant examples of 19th-century, proto-modern architecture, it was widely imitated in Europe and America.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crystal Palace


the main exhibition hall at the Great Exhibition of London, held in 1851 in Hyde Park. The Crystal Palace was designed by the engineer J. Paxton, who made use of his experience in designing greenhouses.

The Crystal Palace introduced into practice the principle of using a metal (iron) frame consisting of identical structural units holding glass panes. Its design had an important effect on the development of the more progressive tendencies in architecture and construction engineering in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1854 the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham, and in 1936 it was destroyed by fire.


Kamm, J. Joseph Paxton and the Crystal Palace. London, 1967.
Hix, J. The Glass House. Cambridge, Mass., 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

crystal palace

1. An exhibition building constructed in large part of iron and glass in Hyde Park, London for the great exhibition of 1851.
2. Any exhibition building similarly constructed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Crystal Palace

huge museum and concert hall made of iron and glass at Great Exhibition (1851). [Br. Hist.: NCE, 692]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.