Chicago White City Essay

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The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition has been recognized as the most successful American world’s fair ever staged (Böger 109). The competition to host the fair among Chicago, New York, Washington, and St. Louis. It was held in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the New World in 1492 (wdl.org, Reardon 1). It was meant to establish Chicago’s identity as a city of importance after being incorporated as a city in 1837. The fair also marked the rebirth of the city after the Chicago Fire of 1871 (Nadelhaft 31-33). It has been nicked named the White City because of the mixture of plaster, cement, and other building materials which were painted white and covered in white stucco. It was also called the White City because of its use of street lights. The White city has been widely credited for ringing in the City Beautiful movement and the beginning of modern day city planning. During its 179-day run, fair attendance totaled 27, 529,400, averaging more than 150,000 people daily (Reardon). The layout of the fairgrounds are described by Findling as:
The Court of Honor, located at the south end of the park, included the formal body of water known as the Basin and the major exhibition halls flanking it: the Manufactures and Liberal Arts building, the Electricity building, the …show more content…

Though plans were considered to refinish many of the structures, the plans were abandoned in July 1894 when many of them were destroyed in a fire. The remaining structures still standing in Chicago are what was once the Palace of Fine Arts (now known as the Field Museum of Science and Industry) and the World’s Congress Auxiliary Building. The Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Charles B. Atwood for D. H. Burnham & Co.

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