The Crystal Palace, built by Joseph Paxton (1803-65) for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, was arguably the most significant building of the mid-nineteenth century in terms of technological advances and aesthetic innovation (Figure 1.1). It was the largest public building of its time to be built principally of iron and glass rather than traditional masonry construction, or a combination thereof. Historian George Chadwick called it a highly successful essay in modular construction: mass-produced, with standardized, pre-fabricated components capable of rapid and economical assembly.1 Sigfried Giedion argued that the Crystal Palace made the first use on a grand scale of prefabricated parts, and it arrived at a new artistic expression through the use of the new material of plate glass.2 Nikolaus Pevsner stated that, based on its size and the ingenious use of prefabricated construction, it was the outstanding example of mid-nineteenth-century iron-and-glass architecture.3 In these purely technical terms, there is no denying the Crystal Palace’s important place in history.