Author: Milagro O'Grady
World's Columbian Exposition 1893
What is the significance and effects of the World's Fair?
What was the World's Columbian Exposition?
It took three years to prepare and work on the exposition. Dedication ceremonies were held on October 21, 1892, but the fairgrounds were not opened to the public until May 1, 1893. The exposition was closed on October 30, 1893. Also, the exposition engrossed 630 acres in Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance. But most of the noisy and distracting attractions, such as the first ferris wheel,were by the Midway Plaisance, so it wont disturb the type of atmosphere by Jackson Park. Along with Federick Law Olmsted, who was responsible for laying out the fairgrounds, Henry Ives Cobb, Richard Morris Hunt, Charles McKim, George B. Post, and Louis Sullivan designed the exposition's buildings. Also the first woman architect, Sophie Hayden, designed the famous Women's Building.
Responses to the World Fair
-James Weldon Johnson from Atlanta University saw the world fair and he described it to his friends, faculty and family. (1893)
"The wonderful group of buildings, with their marvelous, beautiful surroundings of land and water, created as if by magic, cannot adequately be described or portrayed by either pen or pencil. The eminent architects and artists to whom all this is due laid under tribute the traditions and models of historic art, and all the ripe experience of the distant and the past were combined with the present to form the most beautiful and remarkable collection of architectural monuments that this world has ever witnessed."
-Charles S. Smith, president of the New York Chamber of Commerce, October 22, 1893
"Meanwhile the virus of the World's Fair, after a period of incubation ... began to show unmistakable signs of the nature of the contagion. There came a violent outbreak of the Classic and the Renaissance in the East, which slowly spread Westward, contaminating all that it touched, both at its source and outward.... By the time the market had been saturated, all sense of reality was gone. In its place, had come deep seated illusions, hallucinations, absence of pupillary reaction to light, absence of knee-reaction-symptoms all of progressive cerebral meningitis; the blanketing of the brain. Thus Architecture died in the land of the free and the home of the brave.... The damage wrought by the World's Fair will last for half a century from its date, if not longer."
-Louis Sullivan The Autobiography of an Idea (1956)
"Organized women saw the Columbian Exposition as a chance to promote "organized womanhood" and the advancement of women. They also wanted to promote women's work, believing that all work was valuable if it remained faithful to women's "moral responsibilities to wards home and society." The efforts made at the exposition strengthened the women's movement and expanded the notion of women's politics."
-Gullett, Gayle. "'Our Great Opportunity': Organized Women Advanced Women's Work at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893." Illinois Historical Journal 87 (1994): 259-76.
Heinze, Hermann. Souvenir Map of the World's Columbian Exposition at Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance, Chicago, Ill, U.S. A. 1893. 1892. Photograph. Chicago, Illinois
Mcnally and Company, Rand. Bird's Eye View of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. 1983. Photograph. Chicago Illinois.
Paul V. Galvin Library Digital History Collection. "World's Columbian Exposition of 1893."World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. N.p., 1999. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
Read, Christopher Robert. "World's Columbian Exposition of 1893:The Black Presence at "White City": African and African American Participation at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, May 1, 1893 - October 31, 1893." World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. N.p., 1999. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.
Smithsonian Instittion Libraries. "World's Columbian Exhibition. 1893." Revisiting the World's Fair and International Expositions. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.sil.si.edu/silpublications/Worlds-Fairs/WF_selected.cfm?categories=World's Columbian Exhibition, Chicago 1893>
"World's Columbian Exposition." World's Columbian Exposition. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014. <http://web.mit.edu/museum/chicago/exposition.html>.