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Re: Hello may I join in? (Hawkins)
Interestingly enough, the story most commonly told is that the some of the
dinosaurs were, in fact, constructed.
Boss Tweed's political machine, however, had different ideas about how they
wanted to spend the money allocated for the park. According to the common
account, thugs were sent to destroy the (largely concrete) models. The pieces
were then buried in a currently unknown location in Central Park.
This is, in fact, the story (simply put) that I've heard for years.
One can find it along with a reproduction of what the museum might have looked
Steve Brusatte wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Dec 2000 12:43:03
> Stephen wrote:
> >The Crystal Palace dinosaurs were built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
> >in 1854. The Crystal Palace itself was originally erected in Hyde Park
> >as the home of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Palace was then moved
> >to Sydenham (now known as Crystal Palace), where it was used as an
> >exhibition centre until it burned to the ground in 1936. It has been
> >described as the Millennium Dome of its day, and the dinosaur figures
> >were part of a "prehistoric zone".
> >In addition to the three dinosaurs (Megalosaurus, Hylaeosaurus and
> >Iguanodon) there are models of a mosasaur, an ichthyosaur, some
> >plesiosaurs, some labyrinthodonts, and assorted extinct mammals. They
> >are made out of brick, iron and plaster (although the original
> >Hylaeosaurus head has been replaced with a fibreglass one).
> As most of you probably are aware of, Hawkins was also commissioned to build
> a large "Palaeozoic Museum" in New York's Central Park. The plans were later
> killed due to financial reasons, but sculptor Allen Debus made a nice
> sculpture a few years back that showed what, based on his research, Hawkins'
> Central Park exhibit may have looked like.
> You can see a photo of it at:
> Allen Debus and Steve McCarthy also wrote a nice paper about the project.
> Here's a quick ref:
> Debus, Allen A. and Steve McCarthy. A Scene from American Deep Time: New
> York's Palaeozoic Museum-Revisited. The Mosasaur, 6: 105-115.
> I read the paper awhile back, and it's a nice account of all of Hawkins'
> plans, with a lot of photos.
> Steve Brusatte
> Dino Land Paleontology
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