Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The White City Revisted

(photo credit: "Crowd on the Shore," Chicago Tribune photo archive)

Chicago was the home of the World's Fair in 1893, taking the honor from other American cities (Ha! Take that New York!) skeptical of Chicago's ability to outshine the Exposition in Paris that had captured the world's imagination. The city was still crawling out of the Great Chicago Fire wreckage and was considered less cosmopolitan than other cities vying for the Fair. Chicago architect Daniel Burnham met the challenge and exceeded expectations as the fairgrounds (known as the White City for its gleaming white stucco buildings) rose up on the South Side along Midway Plaissance and Jackson Park, delighting Chicagoans and patrons the world over.

Erik Larson does a great job recasting the story of the Chicago World's Fair in his book, Devil in the White City, a definite must read. Today, the Chicago Tribune has dug up beautiful, old archival photos (which, if you read the book, makes them all the more special considering what a tight hold Burnham had on photography within the fair grounds). Click here for more pictures.

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