The World's Columbian Exposition: A One Hundred Year Retrospective

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As the 400th anniversary of Columbus' great voyage to America grew near, enterprising minds in the United States formulated plans to stage a gala celebration to commemorate the historic event and showcase the astounding progress of mankind - particularly the accomplishments of the New World. As enthusiasm mounted, planners envisioned a celebration unparalleled in size, scope and grandeur; they would create a "fair to end all fairs." After a heated competition among cities vying to host the event, Chicago, with ...
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Overview

As the 400th anniversary of Columbus' great voyage to America grew near, enterprising minds in the United States formulated plans to stage a gala celebration to commemorate the historic event and showcase the astounding progress of mankind - particularly the accomplishments of the New World. As enthusiasm mounted, planners envisioned a celebration unparalleled in size, scope and grandeur; they would create a "fair to end all fairs." After a heated competition among cities vying to host the event, Chicago, with its thriving business community, expansive parkland and efficient railroad system, was selected as the site. With Congress' blessing, organizers began the mammoth tasks of financing, planning and building the World's Columbian Exposition in the spring of 1890. The World's Columbian Exposition takes readers on a fascinating journey back to the fair. It tells how noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted masterfully transformed more than 600 acres of swamp and bog along Lake Michigan into a grand and graceful fairgrounds; how Chief of Construction Daniel Burnham assembled an elite cadre of the country's most talented architects and artisans to design and build the provocatively utopian "White City"; and how countries from every corner of the globe amassed their latest products and most treasured antiquities to display at the fair. Vicariously stepping into the shoes of their great-grandparents, readers visit the glorious fairgrounds, seduced by the awe-inspiring architecture, astonished by the seemingly endless displays of everything from the Liberty Bell and Columbus' journal to a thirty-five-foot-high tower of oranges and 16,000 varieties of orchids. Readers share their ancestors' thrill at viewing Thomas Edison's brilliant illumination of the grounds, encountering foreign peoples and cultures for the first time ever, and boarding the world's first Ferris Wheel for an exhilarating ride 264 feet skyward in a cabin the size of a railcar. The fair was
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The Exposition honored the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to America (in a far grander way than the 500th was marked). Abundantly illustrated with historical photographs, this account tells of the fair's planning and construction and describes the exhibits, giving a sense of its extraordinary scale and the meaning it had for those who attended. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780891331964
  • Publisher: National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents

Preface
I Planning and Building the World's Columbian Exposition 1
II A Grand Tour of the White City 29
III The Exhibits and Attractions 73
IV A Week at the Fair 141
Epilogue 154
Acknowledgments 159
Bibliography 160
Index 162
Photo Credits 166
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