I know it’s probably not right to dream about a launch party for a book that hasn’t yet been contracted. But since I went to this place earlier in the week with my family, it was hard not to. Smoke & Mirrors, my historical fantasy/steampunk/fairy tale retelling book that is, at this moment, being considered by several publishers, takes place in 1876 Philadelphia. It was a big year for Philly, being the 100th anniversary of, yanno, becoming a country. That year (and I use it in the book) was the Centennial Exposition — the first World’s Fair ever held in the U.S. It covered the many, MANY acres that comprise Fairmount Park.
There are only a few buildings left from that event. Many were not meant to be permanent, with no central heating. Many were auctioned off and now live in different places, or were destroyed by fire. The largest buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished, unfortunately, and the Horticultural Hall was damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Hazel and knocked down. You can find out what happened to all of them HERE. A couple of buildings remain, , like the Ohio building, which is now a cafe:
And Memorial Hall:
Inside this beautiful building is the Please Touch Museum. Which is good, because it means the building is being used and cared for. The first floor has been preserved with all of the gorgeous plaster and high ceilings:
On the upper floor is all of the exhibits for kids, but in the basement they have on one side a kids grocery store and a shoe store and a bunch of other Dramatic play areas. BUT on the other is a FABULOUS Alice in Wonderland setup (made me giddy), and in the center is an 1876 train depot, and an exhibit ALL about the Exposition. My inner writer squeed when I saw it. In the center is a HUGE model of the Expo:
If I could have whatever kind of launch I wanted once this book gets published, I would want to have it at Memorial Hall. They do do weddings and such, it’s not like it’s totally out of the realm of possibility. I just don’t want to know what it would cost. I would have a big party with Steampunk/historical cosplayers, like Dorian’s Parlor peeps, as part of the fun. I would get myself a great outfit, complete with corset and bustle.
It’s fun to dream, huh…
If you could have any kind of party you wanted, anywhere, what would it be?