Most of the buildings at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition were sprawling neoclassical structures, exemplifed by the United States Government Building shown in this photograph. The caption gives the building's dimensions and construction cost, as well as the architect's name. In addition to views of the pavilions dedicated to various industries, such as the Palace of Agriculture and the Palace of Transportation, the nutshell also contains views of the pavilions sponsored by individual states. The Virigina pavilion, for example, was a replica of Monticello.
Designed as temporary structures made of wood and plaster, few of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition buildings exist today. St. Louis Exposition in a Nutshell is a piece of ephemera that managed to outlast the architecture it commemorates.