1888 – International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry, Glasgow

Architect: James Sellars


The International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry was the first of four international exhibitions held in Glasgow during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The buildings for the Exhibition, at Kelvingrove, were designed by competition winning Glaswegian architect James Sellars. Sellars decided on an oriental style which “lends itself readily to execution in wood.” It is said that Sellars stood on a nail while inspecting the site and died from the resulting infection. The buildings were temporary, and consideration had to be given to ease of dismantling them once the exhibition was over. The buildings were nicknamed “Baghdad by Kelvinside.”

The Main Building, which housed most of the exhibits, occupied an area of Kelvingrove Park between the River Kelvin and Sandyford Street, featured a 170 ft high Dome erected on an iron framework covered in galvanised sheet iron. Four octagonal supporting towers around the Dome were made of brick, with minarets on top.

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