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Materials of the Palaces
The buildings, as well as all of the statuary, are made of artificial travertine, of a smoked-ivory tone.
Real travertine is found in and around Rome, especially at Tivoli.
It is a pure carbonate of lime, a creamy white deposit formed from dripping water, in stratified form, with cavities and fissures lined with crystals.
The Colosseum and St. Peter's at Rome are both made of this material.
The imitation travertine made with concrete, and used in the second story of the Pennsylvania Station in New York in combination with real travertine of the first story, was invented by Mr. Symmes Richardson of the firm of McKim, Meade and White of New York. He also brought the real travertine to America to have it used for the first time in a large building, the Pennsylvania Station.
Mr. Paul Deneville of New York has most successfully made a plastic travertine, composed of gypsum from Nevada combined with hemp fiber and a coloring pigment, which has been applied to all of the Exposition buildings, producing a most pleasing glareless background under the sunny skies of San Francisco.
The roofs are covered with imitation tiles, since real tiles would be too expensive for Exposition purposes.