What came to be known as the World’s Columbian Exposition was planned to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 landfall in the New World. Chicago beat out New York City, St. Louis, Missouri, and Washington, DC, in its bid as hosta coup for the Windy City. The site finally selected for the fair was Jackson Park, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, a marshy area covered with dense, wild vegetation. Daniel H. Burnham and John W. Root were selected as chief architects, creating the famous White City. The fair featured several different thematic areas: the Great Buildings, Foreign Buildings, State Buildings, and the Midway Plaisance, a nearly mile-long area that featured exotic exhibits. The exposition also showcased the world’s first Ferris Wheel and introduced fairgoers to new sensations like Cracker Jack, Pabst Beer, and ragtime music. The World’s Columbian Exposition, covering 633 acres, opened on May 1, 1893. Admission prices were 50¢ for adults, 25¢ for children under 12 years of age, and free for children under six. Unfortunately, by 1896, most of the fair’s buildings had been removed or destroyed, but this collection takes readers on a tour of the grounds as they looked in 1893.
About the Author
Authors Joseph M. Di Cola and David Stone, both native Chicagoans, share a lifelong interest in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a wish to share its story through images with readers.
Table of Contents
1 The Development of the Site 11
2 The Great Buildings 17
3 Other Significant Buildings, Sites, and Exhibits 39
4 Foreign Sites and Buildings 55
5 State Sites and Buildings 65
6 Midway Plaisance 83
7 Works of Art at the Exposition 101
8 Aftermath, Impact, Relics, and Legacy 107